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The  original  of  tliis  book  is  in 
tlie  Cornell  University  Library. 

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924  060  286  071 




A  Gift  from 

the  Performing  Arts  Collection 


Marvin  K.  Frankle 

Class  of  1931 



Anne's  Terrible  Good  Nature 

A  Swan  and  Her  Friends 

A  Wanderer  in  Holland 

A  Wanderer  in  London 

A  Wanderer  in  Paris 

Character  and  Comedy 

Fireside  and  Sunshine 

Good  Company 

Her  Infinite  Variety 

Highways  and  Byways  in  Sussex 

Listener's  Lure 

London  Lavender 

Mr.  Ingleside 

Old  Lamps  for  New 

One  Day  and  Another 

Over  Bemerton's 

Sir  Pulteney 

The  Friendly  Town 

The  Gentlest  Art 

The  Hambledon  Men 

The  Life  of  Charles  Lamb 

The  Open  Road 

The  Second  Post 

The  Slowcoach 

The  British  School 

The  Pocket  Edition  of  the  Works  of 
Charles  Lamb 


IHK    I'UOMO    AMI    loMPANMLE    FkOM    THE    VIA    PECORl 



E.  V.   LUCAS 






36    ESSEX    STREET   W.C. 


First  Published  .  .  ■  Octder  lOth  igta 
Second  Edition  .  .  .  Decemter  xqza 
Third  and  Fourth  Editions    .        January        zgij 


A  SENTENCE  from  a  "Synthetical  Guide- 
-^*'  book  "  which  is  circulated  in  the  Florentine 
hotels  win  express  what  I  want  to  say,  at  the 
threshold  of  this  volume,  much  better  than  could 
imaided  words  of  mine.  It  runs  thus:  "The 
natural  kindness,  the  high  spirit,  of  the  Florentine 
people,  the  wonderful  masterpieces  of  art  created 
by  her  great  men,  who  in  every  age  have  stood 
in  the  front  of  art  and  science,  rivalize  with  the 
gentle  smile  of  her  splendid  sky  to  render  Flor- 
ence one  of  the  finest  towns  of  beautifial  Italy ". 
These  words,  written,  I  feel  sure,  by  a  Floren- 
tine, and  therefore  "  inspirated  "  (as  he  says  else- 
where) by  a  patriotic  feeling,  are  true ;  and  it  is 
my  hope  that  the  pages  that  follow  wiU  at  once 
fortify  their  truth  and  lead  others  to  test  it. 

Like  the  synthetical  author,  I  too  have  not 
thought  it  necessary  to  provide  "too  many  in- 
formations concerning  art  and  history,"  but  there 


will  be  found  a  few,  practically  unavoidable, 
in  the  gathering  together  of  which  I  have  been 
indebted  to  many  authors :  notably  Vasari, 
Symonds,  Crowe  and  Cavalcaselle,  Ruskin,  Pater, 
and  Baedeker.  Among  more  recent  books  I 
would  mention  Herr  Bode's  "  Florentine  Sculp- 
tors of  the  Renaissance,"  Mr.  F.  M.  Hyett's 
"Florence,"  Mr.  E.  L.  S.  Horsburgh's  "Lor- 
enzo the  Magnificent "  and  "  Savonarola,"  Mr. 
Gerald  S.  Davies'  "Michelangelo,"  Mr.  W.  G. 
Waters'  "  Italian  Sculptors,"  and  Col.  Young's 
"The  Medici". 

I  have  to  thank  very  heartily  a  good  English 
Florentine  for  the  construction  of  the  historical 
chart  at  the  end  of  the  volume. 

E.  V.  L. 

May,  1912 



Preface  v 

The  Duomo  I :  Its  Construction i 

The  Duomo  II:  Its  Associations 13 

The  Duomo  III :  A  Ceremony  and  a  Museum  ....      27 

The  Campanile  and  the  Baptistery 36 

The  Riccardi  Palace  and  the  Medici 50 

S.  Lorenzo  and  Michelangelo 71 

Or  San  Michele  and  the  Palazzo  Vecchio       ....      90 

The  Uffizi  I:  The  Building  and  the  Collectors         .        .     109 

The  Uffizi  II:   The  First  Six  Rooms 117 

The  Uffizi  III :  Botticelli 132 


The  Uffizi  IV :  Remaining  Rooms 145 




"Aerial  Fiesole" ^^^3 

The  Badia  and  Dante '7<^ 

The  Bargello ^^i 

S.  Croce 207 

The  Accademia 22+ 

Two  Monasteries  and  a  Procession 247 

S.  Marco 254. 

The  SS.  Annunziata  and  the  Spedale  degli  Innocenti         .    375 

The  Cascine  and  the  Arno 286 

S.  Maria  Novella         .........    297 

The  Piazza  Vittorio  Emmanuele  to  S.  Trinita      .        .        .    312 

The  PiTTi 326 

English  Poets  in  Florence 3^^ 

The  Carmine  and  San  Miniato ,-5 

Historical  Chart  of  Florence  and  Europe,  1296-1564  .        .    368 
Index ^g. 



The  Duomo  and  Campanile,  prom  the  Via  Pecori  Frontispiece 

The    Cloisters    of    San    Lorenzo,    showing    the 

windows  of  the  Biblioteca  Laurenziana        .    To  face  page  28 

The  Via  Calzaioli,  from  the  Baptistery,  show- 
ing the  Bicallo  and  the  top  of  Or  San 
Michele ,,  60 

The  Palazzo  Vecchio „  90 

Thb  Loggia  of  the  Palazzo  Vecchio  and  the  Via 

de'  Lboni ,,  iiS 

J  The  Loggia  de'  Lanzi,  the  Duomo,  and  the 
Palazzo  Vecchio,  from  the  Portico  of  the 
Uffizi „  134 

FlESOLE,   from   the   HILL   UNDER  THE   MONASTERY      .  „  I58 

The  Badia  and  the  Bargello,  from  the  Piazza 

S.  Firenze „  180 

Interior  of  S.  Croce „  208 

The  Ponte  S.  TrinitX ,,  222 

The    Ponte    Vecchio    and   back   of  the  Via  de' 

Bardi I,  246 

S.  Maria  Novella  and  the  corner  of  the  Loggia 

Di  S.  Paolo „  268 

The  Via  de'  Vagellai,  from  the  Piazza  S.  Jacopo 

Trafossi „  290 

The    Piazza   della   Signoria   on   a   Wet   Friday 

Afternoon „         320 

View  of  Florence  at  Evening,  from  the  Piazzale 

Michelangelo „         346 

Evening  at  the  Piazzale  Michelangelo,  looking 

West  „  366. 

h  in 



A  Cantoria.     By  Donatello,  in  the  Museum  of  the 

Cathedral To  face  fage    6 

Cain  and  Abel.         \  By  Ghiberti,  from  his  second 

Abraham  and  Isaac./         Baptistery  Doors        .        .  „  i6 

The  Procession  op  the  Maoi.    By  Benozzo  Gozzoli, 

in  the  Palazzo  Riccardi ,,  38 

Tomb  of  Lorenzo  de'  Medici,  Duke   of   Urbino. 

By    Michelangelo,    in   the   New   Sacristy   of    S. 

Lorenzo ,,  50 

Christ  and  S.  Thomas.     By  Verrocchio,  in  a  niche 

by  Donatello  and  Michelozzo  in  the  wall  of  Or 

$an  Michele „  72 

PuTTO  with  Dolphin.    By  Verrocchio,  in  the  Palazzo 

Vecchio „  80 

Madonna  Adoring.     Ascribed  to  Filippino  Lippi,  in 

the  Uffizi „  86 

The    Adoration    of    the    Magi.    By  Leonardo  da 

Vinci,  in  the  Uffizi „  too 

Madonna  and  Child.     By  Luca   Signorelli,   in   the 

Uffizi „  iro 

tTHE  Birth  op  Venus.    By  Botticelli,  in  the  Uffizi  .  „  122 

The  Annunciation.     By  Botticelli,  in  the  Uffizi         .  „  130 

San  Giacomo.     By  Andrea  del  Sarto,  in  the  Uffizi       .  „  138 

The   Madonna  del   Cardellino.     By   Raphael,    in 

the  Uffizi „  146 

The  Madonna  del  Pozzo.     By  Franciabigio,  in  the 

Uffizi      ...  ,,154 




Monument  to  Count  Ugo.     By  Mino  da  Fiesole,  in 

the  Badia 

'  Donatello,  in  the  Bargello    ■> 
'  Verrocchio,  in  the  Bargello  /    ' 

St.  George.    By  Donatello,  in  the  Bargello 

Madonna  and  Child.     By  Verrocchio,   in   the   Bar- 

Madonna  and  Child.      By  Luca  della  Robbia,  in  the 

Bust  of  a  Boy.     By  Luca  or  Andrea  della  Robbia, 
in  the  Bargello 

*  Monument  to  Carlo  Marzuppini.     By  Desiderio  da 

Settignano,  in  S.  Croce  ,        .         .        ,        , 

David.    By  Michelangelo,  in  the  Accademia 
The  Flight  into  Egypt.     By  Fra  Angelico,  in  the 


The  Adoration  of  the  Shepherds.    By  Ghirlandaio, 

in  the  Accademia 

The  Vision  of  S.  Bernard.    By  Fra  Bartolommeo, 

in  the  Accademia 

Virgin  and  Child  Enthroned,  with  Saints.     By 

Botticelli,  in  the  Accademia 

Primavera.     By  Botticelli,  in  the  Accademia 

The  Coronation  of  the  Virgin.    By  Fra  Angelico, 

in  the  Convent  of  S.  Marco 

The  Annunciation.     By  Luca  della  Robbia,  in  the 

Spedale  degli  Innocenti 

The  Birth  of  the  Virgin.      By  Ghirlandaio,  in  S. 

Maria  Novella 

The  Madonna  del  Granduca,    By  Raphael,  in  the  Pitti 
The  Madonna  della  Sedia.      By  Raphael,   in  the 


The  Concert.     By  Giorgione,  in  the  Pitti 
Madonna  Adoring.    By  Botticini,  in  the  Pitti    . 
The  Madonna  and  Children.    By  Perugino,  in  the 


*  A  Gipsy.    By  Boccaccio  Boccaccini,  in  the  Pitti 

To  face  page  164 

AU  the  illustrations  are  from  photographs  by  G.  Brogi,  except  those  marked  *, 
which  are  by  Fratelli  Alinari,  and  that  marked  t,  which  is  by  R.  Anderson. 




The  City  of  the  Miracle — The  Marble  Companions — Twilight  and  Im- 
mensity— Arnolfo  di    Cambio — Dante's  seat — Ruskin's    "  Shepherd  " — 
Giotto  the  various — Giotto's  fun — The  indomitable  Bmnelleschi — Makers 
of  Florence^The  present  fafade. 

ALL  visitoi-s  to  Florence  make  first  for  the  Duomo. 
Let  us  do  the  same. 
The  real  name  of  the  Duomo  is  the  Cathedral  of  S. 
Maria  del  Fiore,  or  St.  Mary  of  the  Flowers,  the  flower  being 
the  Florentine  lily.  Florence  herself  is  called  the  City  of 
Flowers,  and  that,  in  the  spring  and  summer,  is  a  happy 
enough  description.  But  in  the  winter  it  fails.  A  name 
appropriate  to  all  the  seasons  would  be  the  City  of  the 
Miracle,  the  miracle  being  the  Renaissance.  For  though 
all  over  Italy  traces  of  the  miracle  are  apparent,  Florence 
was  its  very  home  and  still  can  point  to  the  greatest 
number  of  its  achievements.  Giotto  (at  the  beginning  of 
this  quickening  movement)  may  at  Assisi  have  been  more 
inspired  as  a  painter;  but  here  is  his  campanile  and  here 
are  his  S.  Maria  Novella  and  S.  Croce  frescoes.  Fra  An- 
gelico  and  Donatello  (in  the  midst  of  it)  were  never  more 


inspired  than  here,  where  they  worked  and  died.  Michel- 
angelo (at  the  end  of  it)  may  be  more  surpiising  in  the 
Vatican ;  but  here  are  his  wonderful  Medici  tombs.  How 
it  came  about  that  between  the  years  1300  and  1500  Italian 
soil — and  chiefly  Tuscan  soil — threw  up  such  masters,  not 
only  with  the  will  and  spirit  to  do  what  they  did  but  with 
the  power  too,  no  one  will  ever  be  able  to  explain.  But 
there  it  is.  In  the  history  of  the  world  two  centuries  were 
suddenly  given  mysteriously  to  the  activities  of  Italian 
men  of  humane  genius  and  as  suddenly  the  Divine  gift  was 
withdi'awn.  And  to  see  the  very  flower  of  these  two 
centuries  it  is  to  Florence  we  must  go. 

It  is  best  to  enter  the  Piazza  del  Duomo  from  the  Via  de' 
Martelli,  the  Via  de'  Cerretani,  the  Via  Calzaioli,  or  the 
Via  Pecori,  because  then  one  comes  instantly  upon  the 
campanile  too.  The  upper  windows — so  very  lovely — may 
have  been  visible  at  the  end  of  the  streets,  with  Brunelleschi's 
warm  dome  high  in  the  sky  beside  them,  but  that  was  not  to 
diminish  the  effect  of  the  first  sight  of  the  whole.  Duomo 
and  campanile  make  as  fair  a  couple  as  ever  buildere  brought 
together :  the  immense  comfortable  church  so  solidly  set 
upon  the  earth,  and  at  its  side  this  delicate,  slender  marble 
creature,  all  gaiety  and  lightness,  which  as  surely  springs 
from  roots  within  the  earth.  For  one  cannot  be  long  in 
Florence,  looking  at  this  tower  every  day  and  many  times 
a  day,  both  from  near  and  far,  without  being  perfectly 
certain  that  it  grows— and  from  a  bulb,  I  think — and  was 
never  really  built  at  all,  whatever  the  records  may  aver. 

The  interior  of  the  Duomo  is  so  unexpected  that  one 
has  the  feeling  of  having  entered,  by  some  extraordinai-y 
chance,  the  vnrong  building.  Outside  it  was  so  garish  with 
its  coloured  marbles,  under  the  southern  sky  ;  outside,  too 
one's  ears  were  filled  with  all  the  shattering  noises  in  which 


Florence  is  an  adept;  and  then,  one  step,  and  behold 
nothing  but  vast  and  silent  gloom.  This  surprise  is  the 
more  emphatic  if  one  happens  already  to  have  been  in  the 
Baptistery.  For  the  Baptistery  is  also  coloured  marble 
without,  yet  within  it  is  coloured  marble  and  mosaic  too  : 
there  is  no  disparity ;  whereas  in  the  Duomo  the  walls 
have  a  Northern  grey  and  the  columns  are  brown.  Au- 
sterity and  immensity  join  forces. 

When  all  is  said  the  chief  merit  of  the  Duomo  is  this 
immensity.  Such  works  of  art  as  it  has  are  not  very 
noticeable,  or  at  any  rate  do  not  insist  upon  being  seen ; 
but  in  its  vastness  it  overpowers.  Great  as  are  some  of 
the  churches  of  Florence,  I  suppose  thi'ee  or  four  of  them 
could  be  packed  within  this  one.  And  mere  size  with 
a  dim  light  and  a  savour  of  incense  is  enough ;  it  carries 
religion.  No  need  for  masses  and  chants  or  any  ceremony 
whatever  :  the  world  is  shut  out,  one  is  on  terms  with  the 
infinite.  A  forest  exercises  the  same  spell ;  among  moun- 
tains one  feels  it ;  but  in  such  a  cathedral  as  thfe  Duomo 
one  feels  it  perhaps  most  of  all,  for  it  is  the  work  of  man, 
yet  touched  with  mystery  and  wonder,  and  the  knowledge 
that  man  is  the  author  of  such  a  marvel  adds  to  its  great- 

The  interior  is  so  dim  and  strange  as  to  be  for  a  time 
sheer  terra  incognita,  and  to  see  a  bat  flitting  from  side 
to  side,  as  I  have  often  done  even  in  the  morning,  is  to  receive 
no  shock.  In  such  a  twilight  land  there  must  naturally  be 
bats,  one  thinks.  The  darkness  is  due  not  to  lack  of  windows 
but  to  time.  The  windows  are  there,  but  they  have  be- 
come opaque.  None  of  the  coloured  ones  in  the  aisle 
allows  more  than  a  filtration  of  light  through  it ;  there 
are  only  the  plain,  circular  ones  high  up  and  those  ridi, 
coloured,  circular  ones  under  the  dome  to  do  the  work.    In 


a  little  while,  however,  one's  eyes  not  only  become  accus- 
tomed to  the  twilight  but  are  very  grateful  for  it ;  and 
beginning  to  look  inquiringly  about,  as  they  ever  do  in 
this  city  of  beauty,  they  observe,  just  inside,  an  instant 
reminder  of  the  antiseptic  qualities  of  Italy.  For  by  the 
first  great  pillar  stands  a  receptacle  for  holy  water,  with  a 
pretty  and  charming  angelic  figure  upon  it,  which  from  its  air 
of  newness  you  would  think  was  a  recent  gift  to  the  cathe- 
dral by  a  grateful  Florentine.  It  is  six  hundred  years  old 
and  perhaps  was  designed  by  Giotto  himself. 

The  emptiness  of  the  Duomo  is  another  of  its  charms. 
Nothing  is  allowed  to  impair  the  vista  as  you  stand  by  the 
western  entrance :  the  floor  has  no  chairs ;  the  great 
columns  rise  from  it  in  the  gloom  as  if  they,  too,  were 
rooted.     The  walls,  too,  are  bare,  save  for  a  few  tablets. 

The  history  of  the  building  is  briefly  this.  The  first 
cathedral  of  Florence  was  the  Baptistery,  and  S.  John  the 
Baptist  is  still  the  patron  saint  of  the  city.  Then  in  1182 
the  cathedral  was  transferred  to  S.  Reparata,  which  stood 
on  part  of  the  site  of  the  Duomo,  and  in  1294  the  decision 
to  rebuild  S.  Reparata  magnificently  was  arrived  at,  and 
Arnolfo  di  Cambio  was  instructed  to  draw  up  plans. 
Amolfo,  whom  we  see  not  only  on  a  tablet  in  the  left  aisle, 
in  relief,  with  his  plan,  but  also  more  than  life  size,  seated 
beside  Brunelleschi  on  the  Palazzo  de'  Canonici  on  the 
south  side  of  the  cathedral,  facing  the  door,  was  then  sixty- 
two  and  an  architect  of  great  reputation.  Born  in  1282 
he  had  studied  under  Niccolo  Pisano,  the  sculptor  of  the 
famous  pulpit  at  Pisa  (now  in  the  museum  there),  of  that 
in  the  cathedral  in  Siena,  and  of  the  fountain  at  Perugia  (in 
all  of  which  Arnolfo  probably  helped),  and  the  designer  of 
many  buildings  all  over  Italy.  Amolfo's  own  unaided 
sculpture  may  be  seen  at  its   best  in  the  ciborium  in 


S.  Paolo  Fuoii  le  Mura  in  Rome ;  but  it  is  chiefly  as  an 
architect  that  he  is  now  known.  He  had  already  given 
Florence  her  extended  walls  and  some  of  her  most  beautiful 
buildings — the  Or  San  Michele  and  the  Bad  ia — and  simul- 
taneously he  designed  S.  Croce  and  the  Palazzo  Vecchio. 
Vasari  has  it  that  Amolfo  was  assisted  on  the  Duomo  by 
Cimabue ;  but  that  is  doubtful. 

The  foundations  were  consecrated  in  1296  and  the  first 
stone  laid  on  September  8th,  1298,  and  no  one  was  more 
interested  in  its  early  progress  than  a  young,  grave  lawyer 
who  used  to  sit  on  a  stone  seat  on  the  south  side  and  watch 
the  builders,  little  thinking  how  soon  he  was  to  be 
driven  from  Florence  for  ever.  This  seat — the  Sasso  di 
Dante — was  still  to  be  seen  when  Wordsworth  visited 
Florence  in  1837,  for  he  wrote  a  sonnet  in  which  he  tells 
us  that  he  in  reverence  sate  there  too,  "  and,  for  a  moment, 
filled  that  empty  Throne "-  But  one  can  do  so  no 
longer,  for  the  place  which  it  occupied  has  been  built 
over  and  only  a  slab  in  the  wall  with  an  inscription 
(on  the  house  next  the  Palazzo  de'  Canonici)  marks 
the  site. 

Arnolfo  died  in  1310,  and  thereupon  there  seems  to  have 
been  a  cessation  or  slackening  of  work,  due  no  doubt  to 
the  disturbed  state  of  the  city,  which  was  in  the  throes 
of  costly  wars  and  embroilments.  Not  until  1332  is  there 
definite  news  of  its  progress,  by  which  time  the  work  had 
passed  into  the  control  of  the  Arte  della  Lana;  but  in 
that  year,  although  Florentine  affairs  were  by  no  means 
as  flourishing  as  they  should  be,  and  a  flood  in  the  Amo 
had  just  destroyed  three  or  four  of  the  bridges,  a  new 
architect  was  appointed,  in  the  pei-son  of  the  most  various 
and  creative  man  in  the  history  of  the  Renaissance — none 
other  than  Giotto  himself,  who  had  already  received  the 


commission  to  design  the  campanile  which  should  stand  at 
the  cathedral's  side. 

Giotto  was  the  son  of  a  small  farmer  at  Vespignano,  near 
Florence.  He  was  instructed  in  art  by  Cimabue,  who  dis- 
covered him  drawing  a  lamb  on  a  stone  while  herding 
sheep,  and  took  him  as  his  pupil.  Cimabue,  of  whom  more 
is  said,  together  with  more  of  Giotto  as  a  painter,  in  the 
chapter  on  the  Accademia,  had  died  in  1302,  leaving 
Giotto  far  beyond  all  living  artists,  and  Giotto,  between 
the  age  of  fifty  and  sixty,  was  now  residing  in  Cimabue's 
house.  He  had  already  painted  frescoes  in  the  Bargello  (in- 
troducing his  friend  Dante),  in  S.  Maria  Novella,  S.  Croce, 
and  elsewhere  in  Italy,  particularly  in  the  upper  and  lower 
churches  at  Assisi,  and  at  the  Madonna  dell'  Arena  chapel 
at  Padua  when  Dante  was  staying  there  during  his  exile. 
In  those  days  no  man  was  painter  only  or  architect  only  ; 
an  all-round  knowledge  of  both  ai-ts  and  ci'afts  was  desired 
by  every  ambitious  youth  who  weis  attracted  by  the  wish 
to  make  beautiful  things,  and  Giotto  was  a  universal  master. 
It  was  not  then  surprising  that  on  his  settling  finally  in 
Florence  he  should  be  invited  to  design  a  campanile  to 
stand  for  ever  beside  the  cathedral,  or  that  he  should  be 
appointed  supeiintendent  of  the  cathedi'al  works. 

Giotto  did  not  live  to  see  even  his  tower  completed — ^it 
is  the  unhappy  destiny  of  architects  to  die  too  soon — but 
he  was  able  during  the  four  years  left  him  to  find  time  for 
certain  accessory  decorations,  of  which  more  will  be  said 
later,  and  also  to  paint  for  S.  Trinitk  the  picture  which 
we  shall  see  in  the  Accademia,  together  with  a  few  other 
works,  since  perished,  for  the  Badia  and  S.  Giorgio.  He 
died  in  1336  and  was  buried  in  the  cathedral,  as  the  tablet, 
with  Benedetto  da  Maiano's  bust  of  him,  tells.  He  is  also 
to  be  seen  full  length,  in  stone,  in  a  niche  at  the  Uffizi  • 


but  the  figure  is  misleading,  for  if  Vasari  is  to  be  trusted 
(and  for  my  pai't  I  find  it  amusing  to  trust  him  as  much 
as  possible)  the  master  was  insignificant  in  size. 

Giotto  has  sufiered,  I  think,  in  reputation,  from  Ruskin, 
who  took  him  peculiarly  under  his  wing,  persistently 
called  him  "  the  Shepherd,"  and  made  him  appear  as  some- 
thing between  a  Sunday-school  superintendent  and  the 
Q'eator.  The  "  Mornings  in  Florence  "  and  "  Giotto  and 
his  Works  in  Padua  "  so  insist  upon  the  artist's  holiness  and 
conscious  purpose  in  all  he  did  that  his  genial  worldliness, 
shrewdness,  and  humoiw,  as  brought  out  by  Dante,  Vasari, 
Sacchetti,  and  Boccaccio,  are  utterly  excluded.  What  we 
see  is  an  intense  saint  where  really  was  a  very  robust  man. 
Sacchetti's  story  of  Giotto  one  day  stumbling  over  a  pig 
that  ran  between  his  legs  and  remarking,  "  And  serve  me 
right;  for  I've  made  thousands  with  the  help  of  pigs' 
bristles  and  never  once  given  them  even  a  cup  of  broth," 
helps  to  adjust  the  balance ;  while  to  his  friend  Dante  he 
made  a  reply,  so  witty  that  the  poet  could  not  forget  his 
admiration,  in  answer  to  his  question  how  was  it  that 
Giotto's  pictures  were  so  beautiful  and  his  six  chDdren  so 
ugly  ;  but  I  must  leave  the  reader  to  hunt  it  for  himself, 
as  these  are  modest  pages.  Better  still,  for  its  dry  humour, 
was  his  answer  to  King  Robert  of  Naples,  who  had  com- 
manded him  to  that  city  to  paint  some  Scriptural  scenes, 
and,  visiting  the  artist  while  he  worked,  on  a  very  hot 
day,  remarked,  "  Giotto,  if  I  were  you  I  should  leave  ofF 
painting  for  a  while  ".  "  Yes,"  replied  Giotto,  "  if  I  were 
you  I  should." 

To  Giotto  happily  we  come  again  and  again  in  this  book. 
Enough  at  present  to  say  that  upon  his  death  in  1336  he 
was  buried,  like  Arnolfo,  in  the  cathedral,  where  the  tablet 
to  his  memory  may  be  studied,  and  was  succeeded  as  archi- 


tect,  both  of  the  church  and  the  tower,  by  his  friend  and 
assistant,  Andrea  Pisano,  whose  chief  title  to  fame  is  his 
Baptistery  doors  and  the  carving,  which  we  are  soon  to  ex- 
amine, of  the  scenes  round  the  base  of  the  campanile.  He, 
too,  died — in  1348 — before  the  tower  was  finished. 

Francesco  Talenti  was  next  called  in,  again  to  superintend 
both  buildings,  and  not  only  to  superintend  but  to  extend 
the  plans  of  the  cathedral.  Amolfo  and  Giotto  had  both 
worked  upon  a  smaller  scale  ;  Talenti  determined  the  pres- 
ent floor  dimensions.  The  revised  fagade  was  the  work  of 
a  committee  of  artists,  among  them  Giotto's  godson  and 
disciple,  Taddeo  Gaddi,  then  busy  with  the  Ponte  Vecchio, 
and  Andrea  Orcagna,  whose  tabernacle  we  shall  see  at  Or 
San  Michele.  And  so  the  work  went  on  until  the  main 
structure  was  complete  in  the  thirteen-seventies. 

Another  longish  interval  then  came,  in  which  nothing 
of  note  in  the  construction  occurred,  and  the  next  interest- 
ing date  is  1418,  when  a  competition  for  the  design  for  the 
dome  was  announced,  the  work  to  be  given  eventually  to 
one  Filippo  Brunelleschi,  then  an  ambitious  and  nervously 
determined  man,  well  known  in  Florence  as  an  architect, 
of  forty -one.  Brunelleschi,  who,  again  according  to  Vasari, 
was  small,  and  therefore  as  different  as  may  be  from  the  figure 
which  is  seated  on  the  clergy  house  opposite  the  south  door 
of  the  cathedral,  watching  his  handiwork,  was  born  in  1377, 
the  son  of  a  well-to-do  Florentine  of  good  family  who 
wished  to  make  him  a  notary.  The  boy,  however,  wanted 
to  be  an  artist,  and  was  therefore  placed  with  a  goldsmith, 
which  was  in  those  days  the  natural  course.  As  a  youth 
he  attempted  everything,  being  of  a  pertinacious  and  in- 
quiring mind,  and  he  was  also  a  great  debater  and  student 
of  Dante ;  and,  taking  to  sculpture,  he  was  one  of  those 
who,  as  we  shall  see  in  a  later  chapter,  competed  for  the 


commission  for  the  Baptistery  gates.  It  was  indeed  his 
failure  in  that  competition  which  decided  him  to  concentrate 
on  architecture.  That  he  was  a  fine  sculptor  his  competitive 
design,  now  preserved  in  the  Bargello,  and  his  Christ  cruci- 
fied in  S.  Maria  Novella,  prove;  but  in  leading  him  to 
architecture  the  stars  undoubtedly  did  rightly. 

It  was  in  1403  that  the  decision  giving  Ghiberti  the 
Baptistery  commission  was  made,  when  Brunelleschi  was 
twenty-six  and  Donatello,  destined  to  be  his  life-long  friend, 
was  seventeen;  and  when  Brunelleschi  decided  to  go  to 
Rome  for  the  study  of  his  new  branch  of  industry,  archi- 
tecture, Donatello  went  too.  There  they  worked  together, 
copying  and  measuring  everything  of  beauty,  Brunelleschi 
having  always  before  his  mind  the  problem  of  how  to  place 
a  dome  upon  the  cathedral  of  his  native  city.  But,  having 
a  shrewd  knowledge  of  human  nature  and  immense  patience, 
he  did  not  hasten  to  urge  upon  the  authorities  his  claims 
as  the  heaven-bom  architect,  but  contented  himself  with 
smaller  works,  and  even  assisted  his  rival  Ghiberti  with 
his  gates,  joining  at  that  task  Donatello  and  Luca  della 
Robbia,  and  giving  lessons  in  perspective  to  a  youth  who 
was  to  do  more  than  any  man  after  Giotto  to  assure  the 
great  days  of  painting  and  become  the  exemplar  of  the 
finest  masters — Masaccio. 

It  was  not  until  1419  that  Brunelleschi's  persistence  and 
belief  in  his  own  powers  satisfied  the  controllers  of  the 
cathedral  works  that  he  might  perhaps  be  as  good  as  his 
word  and  was  the  right  man  to  build  the  dome  ;  but  at  last 
he  was  able  to  begin.^  For  the  story  of  his  difficulties, 
told  minutely  and  probably  with  sufficient  accuracy,  one 

•  One  of  Brunelleschi's  devices  to  bring  before  the  authorities  an  idea 
of  the  dome  he  projected,  was  of  standing  an  egg  on  end,  as  Columbus  is 
famed  for  doing,  fully  twenty  years  before  Columbus  was  bom. 


must  go  to  Vasari :  it  is  well  worth  reading,  and  is  a  lurid 
commentary  on  the  suspicions  and  jealousies  of  the  world. 
The  building  of  the  dome,  without  scaffolding,  occupied 
fourteen  years,  Brunelleschi's  device  embracing  two  domes^ 
one  within  the  other,  tied  together  with  stone  for  material 
support  and  strength.  It  is  because  of  this  inner  dome 
that  the  impression  of  its  size,  from  within  the  cathedi-al, 
can  disappoint.  Meanwhile,  in  spite  of  all  the  wear  and 
tear  of  the  work,  the  satisfying  of  incredulous  busybodies, 
and  the  removal  of  such  an  incubus  as  Ghiberti,  who  be- 
cause he  was  a  superb  modeller  of  bronze  reliefs  was  made 
for  a  while  joint  architect  with  a  salary  that  Brunelleschi 
felt  should  either  be  his  own  or  no  one's,  the  little  man 
found  time  also  to  build  beautiful  churches  and  cloisters  all 
over  Florence.  He  lived  to  see  his  dome  finished  and  the 
cathedral  consecrated  by  Pope  Eugenius  IV  in  1436,  dying 
ten  years  later.  He  was  buried  in  the  cathedral,  and  his 
adopted  son  and  pupil,  Buggiano,  made  the  head  of  him  on 
the  tablet  to  his  memory. 

Brunelleschi's  lantern,  the  model  of  which  &om  his  own 
hand  we  shall  see  in  the  museum  of  the  cathedral,  was  not 
placed  on  the  dome  until  1462.  The  copper  ball  above  it 
was  the  work  of  VeiTocchio.  In  1912  there  are  still  want- 
ing many  yards  of  stone  border  to  the  dome. 

Of  the  man  himself  we  know  little,  except  that  he  was 
of  iron  tenacity  and  lived  for  his  work.  Vasari  calls  him 
witty,  but  gives  a  not  good  example  of  his  wit ;  he  seems 
to  have  been  philanthropic  and  a  patron  of  poor  artists, 
and  he  grieved  deeply  at  the  untimely  death  of  Masaccip, 
who  painted  him  in  one  of  the  Carmine  frescoes,  together 
with  Donatello  and  other  Florentines. 

As  one  walks  about  Florence,  visiting  this  church  and  that, 
and  peering  into  cool  cloisters,  one's  mind  is  always  intent 


upon  the  sculpture  or  paintings  that  may  be  presei-ved  there 
for  the  delectation  of  the  eye.  The  tendency  is  to  think 
little  of  the  architect  who  made  the  buildings  where  they 
ai'e  treasured.  Asked  to  name  the  gi-eatest  makers  of  this 
beautiful  Florence,  the  ordinary  visitor  would  say  Michel- 
angelo, Giotto,  Raphael,  Donatello,  the  della  Robbias, 
Ghirlandaio,  and  Andrea  del  Sarto:  all  before  Brunel- 
leschi,  even  if  he  named  him  at  all.  But  this  is  wi'ong. 
Not  even  Michelangelo  did  so  much  for  Florence  as  he. 
Michelangelo  was  no  doubt  the  greatest  individualist  in  the 
whole  history  of  art,  and  everything  that  he  did  grips  the 
memory  in  a  vice ;  but  Florence  without  Michelangelo 
would  still  be  very  nearly  Florence,  whereas  Florence  with- 
out Brunelleschi  is  unthinkable.  No  dome  to  the  cathedral, 
first  of  all ;  no  S.  Lorenzo  church  or  cloisters  ;  no  S.  Croce 
cloisters  or  Fazzi  chapel ;  no  Badia  of  Fiesole.  Honour 
where  honour  is  due.  We  should  be  singing  the  praises 
of  Filippo  Brunelleschi  in  every  quarter  of  the  city. 

After  Brunelleschi  the  chief  architect  of  the  cathedral 
was  Giuliano  da  Maiano,  the  artist  of  the  beautiful  in- 
tai-sia  woodwork  in  the  sacristy,  and  the  uncle  of  Benedetto 
da  Maiano  who  made  the  S.  Croce  pulpit. 

The  present  fagade  is  the  work  of  the  architect  Emilio 
de  Fabris,  whose  tablet  is  to  be  seen  on  the  left  wall.  It 
was  finished  in  1887,  five  hundred  and  more  years  after 
the  abandonment  of  Amolfo's  original  design  and  three 
hundred  and  more  years  after  the  destruction  of  the  second 
one,  begun  in  1357  and  demolished  in  1687.  Of  Amolfo's 
fagade  the  primitive  seated  statue  of  Boniface  VIII  (or  John 
XXII)  just  inside  the  cathedral  is,  with  a  bishop  in  one  of 
the  sacristies,  the  only  remnant ;  while  of  the  second  fagade, 
for  which  Donatello  and  other  early  Renaissance  sculptor's 
worked,  the  giant  S.  John  the  Evangelist,  in  the  left  aisle, 


is  perhaps  the  most  important  relic.  Other  statues  in  the 
cathedral  were  also  there,  while  the  central  figure — the 
Madonna  with  enamel  eyes — may  be  seen  in  the  cathedral 
museum.  Although  not  great,  the  group  of  the  Madonna 
and  Child  now  over  the  central  door  of  the  Duomo  has 
much  charm  and  benignancy. 

The  present  fagade,  although  attractive  as  a  mass  of  light, 
is  not  really  good.  Its  patterns  are  trivial,  its  paintings 
and  statues  commonplace  ;  and  I  personally  have  the  feel- 
ing that  it  would  have  been  more  fitting  had  Giotto's 
marble  been  supplied  rather  with  a  contrast  than  an  imita- 
tion. As  it  is,  it  is  not  till  Giotto's  tower  soars  above  the 
fagade  that  one  can  rightly  (from  the  front)  appreciate  its 
roseate  delicacy,  so  strong  is  this  rival. 



Dante's  picture — Sir  John  Hawkwood^-Ancestor  and  Descendant — 
The  Pazzi  Conspiracy — Squeamish  Montesecco — Giuliano  de'  Medici 
dies — Lorenzo's  escape — Vengeance  on  the  Pazzi — Botticelli's  cartoon 
— High  Mass — Luca  della  Robbia — Michelangelo  nearing  the  end — The 
Miracles  of  Zenobius — East  and  West  meet  in  splendour — Marsilio 
Ficino  and  the  New  Learning — Beautiful  glass. 

OF  the  four  men  most  concerned  in  the  structure  of  the 
Duomo  I  have  already  spoken.  There  are  othei'  men 
held  in  memory  there,  and  certain  paintings  and  statues,  of 
which  I  wish  to  speak  now. 

The  picture  of  Dante  in  the  left  aisle  was  painted  by 
command  of  the  Republic  in  1465,  one  hundred  and  sixty- 
three  years  after  his  banishment  from  the  city.  Lectures  on 
Dante  were  frequently  delivered  in  the  churches  of  Florence 
during  the  foui-teenth  and  fifteenth  centuries,  and  it  was 
interesting  for  those  attending  them  to  have  a  portrait  on 
the  wall.  This  picture  was  painted  by  Domenico  di  Michel- 
ino,  the  portrait  of  Dante  being  prepared  for  him  by  Alessio 
Baldovinetti,  who  probably  took  it  from  Giotto's  fresco  in 
the  chapel  of  the  Podesta  at  the  Bargello.  In  this  picture 
Dante  stands  between  the  Inferno  and  a  concentrated 
Florence  in  which  poi'tions  of  the  Duomo,  the  Signoria, 
the  Badia,  the  Bargello,  and  Or  San  Michele  are  visible. 
Behind  him  is  Paradise.      In  his  hand  is  the  "Divine 



Comedy  ".  I  say  no  more  of  the  poet  here,  because  a  large 
part  of  the  chapter  on  the  Badia  is  given  to  him. 

Near  the  Dante  picture  in  the  left  aisle  are  two  Dona- 
tellos — the  massive  S.  John  the  Evangelist,  seated,  who 
might  have  given  ideas  to  Michelangelo  for  his  Moses  a 
century  and  more  later ;  and,  nearer  the  door,  between  the 
tablets  to  De  Fabris  and  Squarciaparello,  the  so-called  Pog- 
gio  Bracciolini,  a  witty  Italian  statesman  and  Humanist 
and  friend  of  the  Medici,  who,  however,  since  he  was  much 
younger  than  this  figure  at  the  time  of  its  exhibition,  and 
is  not  known  to  hav6  visited  Florence  till  later,  probably 
did  not  sit  for  it.  But  it  is  a  powerful  and  very  natural 
work,  although  its  author  never  intended  it  to  stand  on 
any  floor,  even  of  so  dim  a  cathedral  as  this.  The  S.  John, 
I  may  say,  was  brought  from  the  old  facjade — not  Arnolfo's, 
but  the  committee's  fa9ade — where  it  had  a  niche  about 
ten  feet  from  the  ground.  The  Poggio  was  also  on  this 
facade,  but  higher.  It  was  Poggio's  son,  Jacopo,  who  took 
part  in  the  Pazzi  Conspiracy,  of  which  we  are  about  to 
read,  and  was  very  properly  hanged  for  it. 

Of  the  two  pictures  on  the  entrance  wall,  so  high  as  to 
be  imperfectly  seen,  that  on  the  right  as  you  face  it  has 
peculiar  interest  to  English  visitors,  for  (painted  by  Paolo 
Uccello,  whose  great  battle  piece  enriches  our  National 
Gallery)  it  represents  Sir  John  Hawkwood,  an  English 
free-lance  and  head  of  the  famous  White  Company,  whp 
after  some  successful  raids  on  Papal  territory  in  Provence, 
put  his  sword,  his  military  genius,  and  his  bravoes  at  the 
service  of  the  highest  bidder  among  the  wariike  cities  and 
provinces  of  Italy,  and,  eventually  passing  wholly  into  the 
employment  of  Florence  (after  harrying  her  for  other  pay- 
masters for  some  years),  delivered  her  very  signally  from 
her  enemies  in  1892.    Hawkwood  was  an  Essex  man,  the 


son  of  a  tanner  at  Hinckford,  and  was  bom  there  early  in 
the  fourteenth  century.  He  seems  to  have  reached  France 
as  an  archer  under  Edward  III,  and  to  have  remained  a  free- 
booter, passing  on  to  Italy,  about  1362,  to  engage  joyously 
in  as  much  fighting  as  any  English  commander  can  ever 
have  had,  for  some  thirty  yeare,  with  very  good  pay  for  it. 
Although,  by  all  accounts,  a  very  Salomon  Brazenhead, 
Hawkwood  had  enough  dignity  to  be  appointed  English 
Ambassador  to  Rome,  and  later  to  Florence,  which  he  made 
his  home,  and  where  he  died  in  1394.  He  was  buried  in  the 
Duomo,  on  the  north  side  of  the  choir,  and  was  to  have  re- 
posed beneath  a  sumptuous  monument  made  under  his  own 
instructions,  with  frescoes  by  Taddeo  Gaddi  and  Giuliano 
d'  Arrigo ;  but  something  intervened,  and  Uccello's  fresco 
was  used  instead,  and  this,  some  sixty  years  ago,  was  trans- 
ferred to  canvas  and  moved  to  the  position  in  which  it  now 
is  seen. 

Hawkwood's  life,  briskly  told  by  a  full-blooded  hand, 
would  make  a  ifine  book.  One  pleasant  story  at  least  is 
related  of  him,  that  on  being  beset  by  some  begging  friars 
who  prefaced  their  mendicancy  with  the  words,  "  God  give 
you  peace,"  he  answered,  "  God  take  away  your  alms  " ; 
and,  on  their  protesting,  reminded  them  that  such  peace 
was  the  last  thing  he  required,  since  should  their  pious  wish 
come  true  he  would  die  of  hunger.  One  of  the  daughters 
of  this  fire-eater  married  John  Shelley,  and  thus  became 
an  ancestress  of  Shelley  the  poet,  who,  as  it  chances,  also 
found  a  home  for  a  while  in  this  city,  almost  within  haiUng 
distance  of  his  ancestor's  tomb  and  portrait,  and  here  wrote 
not  only  his  "Ode  to  the  West  Wind,"  but  his  caustic 
satire,  "  Petei-  Bell  the  Third  ". 

Hawkwood's  name  is  steeped  sufficiently  in  carnage ;  but 
we  get  to  the  scene  of  bloodshed  in  reality  as  we  approach 


the  choir,  for  it  was  here  that  Giuliano  de'  Medici  was  as- 
sassinated, as  he  attended  High  Mass,  on  April  26th,  1478, 
with  the  connivance,  if  not  actually  at  the  instigation,  of 
Christ's  Vicar  himself.  Pope  Sixtus  IV.  Florentine  history 
is  so  eventful  and  so  tortuous  that  beyond  the  bare  outline 
given  in  chapter  V,  I  shall  make  in  these  pages  but  little 
effort  to  follow  it,  assuming  a  certain  amount  of  knowledge 
on  the  part  of  the  reader;  but  it  must  be  stated  here 
that  periodical  revolts  against  the  power  and  prestige  of 
the  Medici  often  occurred,  and  none  was  more  desperate 
than  that  of  the  Pazzi  family  in  1478,  acting  with  the 
support  of  the  Pope  behind  all  and  with  the  co-operation 
of  Gh'olamo  Riario,  nephew  of  the  Pope,  and  Salviati, 
Archbishop  of  Pisa.  The  Pazzi,  who  were  not  only 
opposed  to  the  temporal  power  of  the  Medici,  but  were 
their  rivals  in  business — both  families  being  bankers — 
wished  to  rid  Florence  of  Lorenzo  and  Giuliano  in  order 
to  be  greater  both  civically  and  financially.  Girolamo 
wished  the  removal  of  Lorenzo  and  Giuliano  in  order  that 
hostility  to  his  plans  for  adding  Forli  and  Faenza  to  the 
territory  of  Imola,  which  the  Pope  had  successfully  won 
for  him  against  Lorenzo's  opposition,  might  disappear. 
The  Pope  had  various  political  reasons  for  wishing  Lo- 
renzo's and  Giuliano's  death  and  bringing  Florence,  always 
headstrong  and  dangerous,  to  heel.  While  as  for  Salviati, 
it  was  sufficient  that  he  was  Archbishop  of  Pisa,  Florence's 
ancient  rival  and  foe;  but  he  was  a  thoroughly  bad  lot 
anyway.  Assassination  also  was  in  the  air,  for  Galeazzo 
Maria  Sforza  of  Milan  had  been  stabbed  in  church  in  1476, 
thus  to  some  extent  paving  the  way  for  this  murder,  since 
Lorenzo  and  Sforza,  when  acting  together,  had  been  prac- 
tically unassailable. 

In  1478  Lorenzo  was  twenty-nine,  Giuliano  twenty-five. 


Lorenzo  had  been  at  the  head  of  Florentine  affairs  for  nine 
years  and  he  was  steadily  growing  in  strength  and  popu- 
larity.    Hence  it  was  now  or  never. 

The  conspirators'  firat  idea  was  to  kill  the  brothers  at  a 
banquet  which  Lorenzo  was  to  give  to  the  great-nephew 
of  the  Pope,  the  youthful  Cardinal  RaiFeiello  Riario,  who 
promised  to  be  an  amenable  catspaw.  Giuliano,  however, 
having  hurt  his  leg,  was  not  well  enough  to  be  present, 
but  as  he  would  attend  High  Mass,  the  conspirators 
decided  to  act  then.  That  is  to  say,  it  was  then,  in  the 
cathedral,  that  the  death  of  the  Medici  brothers  was  to  be 
effected ;  meanwhile  another  detachment  of  conspirators 
under  Salviati  was  to  rise  simultaneously  to  capture  the 
Signoria,  while  the  armed  men  of  the  party  who  were  out- 
side and  inside  the  walls  would  begin  their  attacks  on  the 
populace.  Thus,  at  the  same  moment  Medici  and  city 
would  fall.     Such  was  the  plan. 

The  actual  assassins  were  Francesco  de'  Pazzi  and  Ber- 
nardo Bandini,  who  were  nominally  friends  of  the  Medici 
(Francesco's  brother  Guglielmo  having  married  Bianca 
de'  Medici,  Lorenzo's  sister),  and  two  priests  named  Maffeo 
da  Volterra  and  Stefano  da  Bagnona  A  professional 
bravo  named  Montesecco  was  to  have  killed  Lorenzo,  but 
refused  on  learning  that  the  scene  of  the  murder  was  to  be 
a  church.  At  that,  he  said,  he  drew  the,  line :  murder 
anywhere  else  he  could  perform  cheerfully,  but  in  a  sacred 
building  it  was  too  much  to  ask.  He  therefore  did  no- 
thing, but,  subsequently  confessing,  made  the  guilt  of  all 
his  associates  doubly  cei'tain. 

When  High  Mass  began  it  was  found  that  Giuliano  was 
not  present,  and  Francesco  de'  Pazzi  and  Bandini  were  sent 
to  persuade  him  to  come — a  Judas-like  errand  indeed.  On 
the  way  back,  it  is  said,  one  of  them  affectionately  placed 


his  arm  round  Giuliano — to  see  if  he  wore  a  shirt  of  mail 
— remarking,  to  cover  the  action,  that  he  was  getting  fat. 
On  his  arrival,  Giuliano  took  his  place  at  the  north  side  of 
the  circular  choir,  near  the  door  which  leads  to  the  Via  de' 
Servi,  while  Lorenzo  stood  at  the  opposite  side.  At  the 
given  signal  Bandini  and  Pazzi  were  to  stab  Giuliano  and 
the  two  priests  were  to  stab  Lorenzo.  The  signal  was  the 
bi'eaking  of  the  Eucharistic  wafer,  and  at  this  solemn 
moment  Giuliano  was  instantly  killed,  with  one  stab  in  the 
heart  and  nineteen  elsewhere,  Francesco  so  overdoing  his 
attack  that  he  severely  wounded  himself  too  ;  but  Lorenzo 
was  in  time  to  see  the  beginning  of  the  assault,  and,  making 
a  movement  to  escape,  he  prevented  the  priest  from  doing 
aught  but  inflict  a  gash  in  his  neck,  and,  springing  away, 
dashed  behind  the  altar  to  the  old  sacristy,  where  certain 
of  his  friends  who  followed  him  banged  the  heavy  bronze 
doors  on  the  pursuing  foe.  Those  in  the  cathedral,  mean- 
while, were  in  a  state  of  hysterical  alarm ;  the  youthful 
cardinal  was  hurried  into  the  new  sacristy ;  Guglielmo 
de'  Pazzi  bellowed  forth  his  innocence  in  loud  tones ;  and 
his  murderous  brother  and  Bandini  got  off. 

Order  being  restored,  Lorenzo  was  led  by  a  strong  body- 
guard to  the  Palazzo  Medici,  where  he  appeared  at  a 
window  to  convince  the  momentarily  increasing  crowd  that 
he  was  still  living.  Meanwhile  things  were  going  not 
much  more  satisfactorily  for  the  Pazzi  at  the  Palazzo 
Vecchio,  where,  according  to  the  plan,  the  gonfalonier, 
Cesare  Petrucci,  was  to  be  either  killed  or  secured.  The 
Archbishop  Salviati,  who  was  to  effect  this,  managed  his 
interview  so  clumsily  that  Petrucci  suspected  something, 
those  being  suspicious  times,  and,  instead  of  submitting  to 
capture,  himself  turned  the  key  on  his  visitors.  The  Pazzi 
faction  in  the  city,  meanwhile,  hoping  that  all  had  gone 


well  in  the  Palazzo  Vecchio,  as  well  as  in  the  cathedral  (as 
they  thought),  were  running  through  the  streets  calling 
"  Viva  la  Liberta ! "  to  be  met  with  counter  cries  of 
"  Palle  !  palle  ! " — the  palle  being  the  balls  on  the  Medici 
escutcheon,  still  to  be  seen  all  over  Florence  and  its  vicinity 
and  on  every  curtain  in  the  UfEzi. 

The  truth  gradually  spreading,  the  city  then  rose  for 
the  Medici  and  justice  began  to  be  done.  The  Archbishop 
was  hanged  at  once,  just  as  he  was,  from  a  window  of  the 
Palazzo  Vecchio.  Francesco  de'  Pazzi,  who  had  got  home 
to  bed,  was  dragged  to  the  Palazzo  and  hanged  too.  The 
mob  meanwhile  were  not  idle,  and  most  of  the  Pazzi  were 
accounted  for,  together  with  many  followers — although 
Lorenzo  publicly  implored  them  to  be  merciful.  Poliziano, 
the  scholar-poet  and  friend  of  Lorenzo,  has  left  a  vivid 
account  of  the  day.^  With  his  own  eyes  he  saw  the  hanging 
Salviati,  in  his  last  throes,  bite  the  hanging  Fi'ancesco  de 
Pazzi.  Old  Jacopo  succeeded  in  escaping,  but  not  for  long, 
and  a  day  or  so  later  he  too  was  hanged.  Bandini  got  as 
far  as  Constantinople,  but  was  brought  back  in  chains  and 
hanged.  The  two  priests  hid  in  the  Benedictine  abbey  in 
the  city  and  for  a  while  evaded  search,  but  being  found 
they  were  torn  to  pieces  by  the  crowd.  Montesecco,  having 
confessed,  was  beheaded  in  the  courtyard  of  the  Bargello. 

The  hanging  of  the  chief  conspirators  was  kept  in  the 
minds  of  the  short-memoried  Florentines  by  a  representa- 
tion outside  the  Palazzo  Vecchio,  by  none  other  than  the 
wistful,  spiritual  Botticelli ;  while  three  effigies,  life  size, 
of  Lorenzo — one  of  them  with  his  bandaged  neck — were 
made  by  Verrocchio  in  coloured  wax  and  set  up  in  places 
where  prayers  might  be  offered.  Commemorative  medals 
which  may  be  seen  in  the  Bargello,  were  also  struck,  and 
the  family  of  Pazzi  was  banished  and  its  name  removed 


by  decree  from  the  city's  airhives.  Poor  Giuliano,  who 
was  generally  beloved  for  his  charm  and  youthful  spirits, 
was  buried  at  S.  Lorenzo  in  great  state. 

I  have  often  attended  High  Mass  in  this  Duomo  choir 
— the  theatre  of  the  Pazzi  tragedy — but  never  without 
thinking  of  that  scene. 

Luca  della  Bobbia's  doors  to  the  new  sacristy,  which 
gave  the  young  cardinal  his  safety,  had  been  finished  only 
eleven  yeai-s.  Donatello  was  to  have  designed  them,  but 
his  work  at  Padua  was  too  pressing.  The  commission  was 
then  given  to  Michelozzo,  Donatello's  pai'tner,  and  to  Luca 
della  Robbia,  but  it  seems  likely  that  Luca  did  nearly  all. 
The  doors  are  in  very  high  relief,  thus  differing  abso- 
lutely from  Donatello's  at  S.  Lorenzo,  which  are  in  very  low. 
Luca's  work  here  is  sweet  and  mild  rather  than  strong,  and 
the  panels  derive  their  principal  charm  from  the  angels, 
who,  in  pairs,  attend  the  saints.  Above  the  door  was 
placed,  at  the  time  of  Lorenzo's  escape,  the  beautiful  can- 
toria,  also  by  Luca,  which  is  now  in  the  museum  of  the 
cathedral,  while  above  the  door  of  the  old  sacristy  was 
Donatello's  cantoria.  Commonplace  new  ones  now  take 
their  place.  In  the  semicircle  over  each  door  is  a  colom-ed 
relief  by  Luca :  that  over  the  bronze  doors  being  the 
"Resurrection,"  and  the  other  the  "Ascension'' ;  and  they 
are  interesting  not  only  for  their  beauty  but  as  being 
the  earliest-known  examples  in  Luca's  newly-discovered 
glazed  terra-cotta  medium,  which  was  to  do  so  much  in  the 
hands  of  himself,  his  nephew  Andrea,  and  his  followers,  to 
make  Florence  still  lovelier  and  the  legend  of  the  Virgin 
Mary  still  sweeter.  But  of  the  della  Robbias  and  their 
exquisite  genius  I  shall  say  more  later,  when  we  come 
to  the  Bargello. 

As  different  as  would  be  possible  to  imagine  is  the  genius 


of  that  younger  sculptor,  the  author  of  the  Piet^  at  the  back 
of  the  altar,  near  where  we  now  stand,  who,  when  Luca 
finished  these  bronze  doors,  in  1467,  was  not  yet  bom — 
Michelangelo  Buonarroti.  This  gi'oup,  which  is  unfinished, 
is  the  last  the  old  and  weary  Titan  ever  worked  at,  and 
it  was  meant  to  be  part  of  his  own  tomb.  Vasari,  to  whose 
"  Lives  of  the  Painters  "  we  shall  be  indebted,  as  this  book 
proceeds,  for  so  much  good  human  nature,  and  who  speaks 
of  Michelangelo  with  peculiai'  authority,  since  he  was  his 
friend,  pupil,  and  correspondent,  tells  us  that  once  when  he 
went  to  see  tiie  sculptor  in  Rome,  near  the  end,  be  found 
him  at  work  upon  this  Pieta,  but  the  sculptor  was  so  dis- 
satisfied with  one  portion  that  he  let  his  lantern  fall  in 
order  that  Vasari  might  not  see  it,  sayiilg :  "  I  am  so  old 
that  death  frequently  drags  at  my  mantle  to  take  me,  and 
one  day  my  person  will  fall  like  this  lantern  ".  The  Piet^ 
is  still  in  deep  gloom,  as  the  master  would  have  liked,  but 
enough  is  revealed  to  prove  its  pathos  and  its  power. 

In  the  east  end  of  the  nave  is  the  chapel  of  S.  Zenobius,  con- 
taining a  bronze  reliquary  by  Ghiberti,  with  scenes  upon  it 
from  the  life  of  this  saint,  so  important  in  Florentine  religious 
history.  It  is,  however,  very  hard  to  see,  and  should  be 
illuminated.  Zenobius  was  bom  at  Florence  in  the  reign 
of  Constantine  the  Great,  when  Christianity  was  by  no 
means  the  prevailing  religion  of  the  city,  although  the 
way  had  been  paved  by  various  martyrs.  After  studying 
philosophy  and  preaching  Avith  much  acceptance,  Zenobius 
was  summoned  to  Rome  by  Pope  Damasus.  On  the  Pope's 
death  he  became  Bishop  of  Florence,  and  did  much,  says 
Butler,  to  "  extirpate  the  kingdom  of  Satan  ".  The  Saint 
lived  in  the  ancient  tower  which  still  stands — one  of  the  few 
survivors  of  Florence's  hundreds  of  towers — at  the  corner 
of  the  Via  Por  S.  Maria  (which  leads  from  the  Mercato 


Nuovo  to  the  Ponte  Vecchio)  and  the  Via  Lambertesca.  It 
is  called  the  Torre  de'  Girolami,  and  on  S.  Zenobius'  day — 
May  25th — is  decorated  with  flowers ;  and  since  never  ai-e 
so  many  flowers  in  the  city  of  flowers  as  at  that  time,  it  is  a 
sight  to  see.  The  remains  of  the  saint  were  moved  to  the 
Duomo,  although  it  had  not  then  its  dome,  from  S.  Lorenzo, 
in  1330,  and  the  simple  column  in  the  centre  of  the  road 
opposite  Ghiberti's  first  Baptisteiy  doors  was  erected  to 
mark  the  event,  since  on  that  very  spot,  it  is  said,  stood  a 
dead  elm  tree  which,  when  the  bier  of  the  saint  chanced  to 
touch  it,  immediately  sprang  to  life  again  and  burst  into 
leaf;  even,  the  enthusiastic  chronicler  adds,  into  flower. 
The  result  was  that  the  tree  was  cut  completely  to  pieces 
by  relic  huntere,  but  the  column  by  the  Baptistery,  the 
work  of  Brunelleschi  (erected  on  the  site  of  an  earlier  one), 
fortunately  remains  as  evidence  of  the  miracle.  Ghiberti, 
however,  did  not  choose  this  miracle  but  another  for  repre- 
sentation ;  for  not  only  did  Zenobius  dead  restore  anima- 
tion, but  while  he  was  himself  living  he  resuscitated  two 
boys.  The  one  was  a  ward  of  his  own  ;  the  second  was  an 
ordinary  Florentine,  for  whom  the  same  modest  boon  was 
craved  by  his  son-owing  parents.  It  is  one  of  these  scenes 
of  resuscitation  which  Ghiberti  has  designed  in  bronze,  while 
Ridolfo  Ghirlandaio  painted  it  in  a  picture  in  the  Uffizi. 
We  shall  see  S.  Zenobius  again  in  the  fresco  by  Ridolfo's 
father,  the  great  Ghirlandaio,  in  the  Palazzo  Vecchio ; 
while  the  portrait  on  the  first  pillar  of  the  left  aisle,  as  one 
enters  the  cathedral  is  of  Zenobius  too. 

The  date  of  the  Pazzi  Conspiracy  was  1478.  A  few 
years  later  the  same  building  witnessed  the  extraordinary 
effects  of  Savonarola's  oratory,  when  such  was  the  terrible 
picture  he  drew  of  the  fate  of  unregenerate  sinners  that 
his  listeners'  hair  was  said  actually  to  rise  with  fright. 


Savonarola  came  towards  the  end  of  the  Renaissance,  to 
give  it  its  death-blow.  By  contrast  there  is  a  tablet  on 
the  right  wall  of  the  cathedral  in  honour  of  one  who 
did  much  to  bring  about  the  paganism  and  sophisti- 
cation against  which  the  impassioned  reformer  uttered  his 
fiercest  denunciations:  Marsilio  Ficino  (1433-1491),  the 
neo-Platonist  proteg6  of  Cosimo  de'  Medici,  and  friend  both 
of  Piero  de'  Medici  and  Lorenzo.  To  explain  Marsilio's 
influence  it  is  necessary  to  recede  a  little  into  history. 
In  1439  Cosimo  de'  Medici  succeeded  in  transferring  the 
scene  of  the  Great  Council  of  the  Church  to  Florence. 
At  this  conference  representatives  of  the  Western  Church, 
centred  in  Rome,  met  those  of  the  Eastern  Church,  cen- 
tred in  Constantinople,  which  was  still  Christian,  for  the 
purpose  of  discussing  various  matters,  not  the  least  of 
which  was  the  protection  of  the  Eastern  Church  against 
the  Infidel.  Not  only  was  Constantinople  continually 
threatened  by  the  Turks,  and  in  need  of  arms  as  well  as 
sympathy,  but  the  two  branches  of  the  Church  were  at 
enmity  over  a  number  of  points.  It  was  as  much  to  heal 
these  diflerences  as  to  seek  temporal  aid  that  the  Emperor 
John  Palseologus,  the  Patriai'ch  of  Constantinople,  and  a 
vast  concourse  of  nobles,  priests,  and  Greek  scholars,  ar- 
rived in  Italy,  and,  after  sojourning  at  Venice  and  Ferrara, 
moved  on  to  Florence  at  the  invitation  of  Cosimo.  The 
Emperor  resided  in  the  Peruzzi  palace,  now  no  more,  near 
S.  Croce ;  the  Patriarch  of  Constantinople  lodged  (and  as 
it  chanced,  died,  for  he  was  very  old)  at  the  Ferrantini 
palace,  now  the  Casa  Vemaccia,  in  the  Borgo  Pinti ;  while 
Pope  Eugenius  was  at  the  convent  attached  to  S.  Maria 
Novella.  The  meetings  of  the  Council  were  held  where 
we  now  stand — in  the  cathedral,  whose  dome  had  just 
been  placed  upon  it  all  ready  for  them. 


The  Council  failed  in  its  purpose,  and,  as  we  know, 
Constantinople  was  lost  some  years  later,  and  the  great 
empire  of  which  John  Palaeologus  was  the  last  ruler 
ceased  to  be.  That,  however,  at  the  moment  is  beside  the 
mark.  The  interesting  thing  to  us  is  that  among  the 
scholars  who  came  from  Constantinople,  bringing  with  them 
numbers  of  manuscripts  and  systems  of  thought  wholly 
new  to  the  Florentines,  was  one  Georgius  Gemisthos,  a 
Greek  philosopher  of  much  personal  charm  and  comeliness, 
who  talked  a  bland  and  beautiful  Platonism  that  was 
extremely  alluring  not  only  to  his  youthful  listeners  but 
also  to  Cosimo  himself.  G«misthos  was,  however,  a  Greek, 
and  Cosimo  was  too  busy  a  man  in  a  city  of  enemies,  or  at 
any  rate  of  the  envious,  to  be  able  to  do  much  more  than 
extend  his  patronage  to  the  old  man  and  despatch  emis- 
saries to  the  East  for  more  and  more  manuscripts ;  but 
discerning  the  allurements  of  the  new  gospel,  Cosimo 
directed  a  Florentine  enthusiast  who  knew  Greek  to  spread 
the  serene  creed  among  his  friends,  who  were  all  ripe  for  it, 
and  this  enthusiast  was  none  other  than  a  youthful  scholar 
by  name  Marsilio  Ficino,  connected  with  S.  Lorenzo, 
Cosimo's  family  church,  and  the  son  of  Cosimo's  own 
physician.  To  the  young  and  ardent  Marsilio,  Plato  became 
a  god  and  Gemisthos  not  less  than  divine  for  bringing  the 
tidings.  He  kept  a  lamp  always  burning  before  Plato's 
bust,  and  later  founded  the  Platonic  Academy,  at  which 
Plato's  works  were  discussed,  orations  delivered,  and  new 
dialogues  exchanged,  between  such  keen  minds  as  Marsilio, 
Pulci,  Landini,  Giovanni  Cavalcanti,  Leon  Battista  Alberti, 
the  architect  and  scholar,  Pico  della  Mirandola,  the  pre- 
cocious disputant  and  aristocratic  mystic,  Poliziano,  the 
tutor  of  Lorenzo's  sons,  and  Lorenzo  the  Magnificent  him- 
self.    It  was  thus  from  the  Greek  invasion  of  Florence  that 


proceeded  the  stream  of  culture  which  is  known  as  Human- 
ism, and  which,  no  doubt,  in  time,  was  so  largely  concerned 
in  bringing  about  that  indifference  to  spiritual  things 
which,  leading  to  general  laxity  and  indulgence,  filled 
Savonarola  with  despair. 

I  am  not  concerned  to  enter  deeply  into  the  subject  of 
the  Renaissance.  But  this  must  be  said — that  the  new 
painting  and  sculptm-e,  particularly  the  painting  of  Masaccio 
and  the  sculpture  of  Donatello,  had  shown  the  world  that 
the  human  being  could  be  made  the  measure  of  the  Divine. 
The  Madonna  and  Christ  had  been  related  to  life.  The 
new  learning,  by  leading  these  keen  Tuscan  intellects,  so 
eager  for  reasonableness,  to  the  Greek  philosophers  who 
were  so  wise  and  so  calm  without  any  of  the  conso- 
lations of  Christianity,  naturally  set  them  wondering  if 
there  were  not  a  religion  of  Humanity  that  was  perhaps  a 
finer  thing  than  the  religion  that  required  all  the  machinery 
and  intiigue  of  Rome.  And  when,  as  the  knowledge  of 
Greek  spread  and  the  minute  examination  of  documents 
ensued,  it  was  found  that  Rome  had  not  disdained  forgery 
to  gain  her  ends,  a  blow  was  stnick  against  the  Chm'ch 
from  which  it  never  recovered ; — and  how  much  of  this  was 
due  to  this  Florentine  Marsilio,  sitting  at  the  feet  of  the 
Greek  Gemisthos,  who  came  to  Florence  at  the  invitation 
of  Cosimo  de'  Medici ! 

The  cathedral  glass,  as  I  say,  is  mostly  overladen  with 
grime ;  but  the  circular  windows  in  the  dome  seem  to  be 
magnificent  in  design.  They  are  attributed  to  Ghiberti 
and  Donatello,  and  are  lovely  in  coloui*.  The  greens  in 
particular  ai"e  very  striking.  But  the  jewel  of  these 
circular  windows  of  Florence  is  that  by- Ghiberti  on  the 
west  wall  of  S.  Croce. 

And  here  I  leave  the  Duomo,  with  the  counsel  to  visitore 


to  Florence  to  make  a  point  of  entering  it  eveiy  day — not, 
as  so  many  Florentines  do,  in  order  to  make  a  short  cut 
from  the  Via  Calzaioli  to  the  Via  de'  Servi,  and  vice  versa, 
but  to  gather  its  spirit.  It  is  different  every  hour  in  the 
day,  and  every  hour  the  light  enters  it  with  new  beauty. 



The  Scoppio  del  Carro — The  Pazzi  beneficent — Holy  Saturday's  pro- 
gramme— April  6th,  igi2 — The  flying  palle—'Vhe  nervous  pyrotechnist — 
The  influence  of  noon — A  little  sister  of  the  Duomo^Donatello's  cantoria 
— Luca  della  Robbia's  cantoria. 

IN  the  last  chapter  we  saw  the  Pazzi  family  as  very 
black  sheep,  although  there  are  plenty  of  students 
of  Florentine  history  who  hold  that  any  attempt  to  rid 
Florence  of  the  Medici  was  laudable.  In  this  chapter  we 
see  them  in  a  kindlier  situation  as  benefactoi-s  to  the  city. 
For  it  happened  that  when  Pazzo  de'  Pazzi,  a  founder  of 
the  house,  was  in  the  Holy  Land  during  the  First  Crusade, 
it  was  his  proud  lot  to  set  the  Christian  banner  on  the 
walls  of  Jerusalem,  and,  as  a  reward,  Godfrey  of  Boulogne 
gave  him  some  flints  from  the  Holy  Sepulchre.  These  he 
brought  to  Florence,  and  they  are  now  preserved  at  SS. 
Apostoli,  the  little  church  in  the  Piazza  del  Limbo,  off  the 
Borgo  SS.  Apostoli,  and  every  year  the  flints  are  used  to 
kindle  the  fire  needed  for  the  right  preservation  of  Easter 
Day.  Gradually  the  ceremony  enlarged  until  it  became  a 
spectacle  indeed,  which  the  Pazzi  family  for  centuries  con- 
trolled. After  the  Pazzi  conspiracy  they  lost  it  and  the 
Signoria  took  it  over ;  but,  on  being  pardoned,  the  Pazzi 
again  resumed. 

The  Carro  is  a  car  containing  explosives,  and  the  Scoppio 

is  its  explosion.     This  car,  after  being  drawn  in  procession 



through  the  streets  by  white  oxen,  is  ignited  by  the  sacred 
fire  borne  to  it  by  a  mechanical  dove  liberated  at  the  high 
altar  of  the  Duomo,  and  with  its  explosion  Easter  begins. 
There  is  still  a  Pazzi  fund  towards  the  expenses,  but  a  few 
years  ago  the  city  became  responsible  for  the  whole  pro- 
ceedings, and  the  ceremony  as  it  is  now  given,  under  civic 
management,  known  as  the  Scoppio  del  Carro,  is  that  which 
I  saw  on  Holy  Saturday  last  and  am  about  to  describe. 

First,  however,  let  me  state  what  had  happened  before 
the  proceedings  opened  in  the  Piazza  del  Duomo.  At  six 
o'clock  mass  began  at  SS.  Apostoli,  lasting  for  more  than 
two  hours.  At  its  close  the  celebrant  was  handed  a  plate 
on  which  were  the  sacred  flints,  and  these  he  struck  with  a 
steel  in  view  of  the  congregation,  thus  igniting  a  taper. 
The  candle,  in  an  ancient  copper  porta  fuoco  surmounted 
by  a  dove,  was  then  lighted,  and  the  procession  of  priests 
started  off  for  the  cathedral  with  their  precious  flame, 
escorted  by  a  civic  guard  and  various  standard  bearers. 
Their  route  was  the  Piazza  del  Limbo,  along  the  Borgo 
SS.  Apostoli  to  the  Via  Por  S.  Maria  and  through  the 
Vacchereccia  to  the  Piazza  della  Signoria,  the  Via  Con- 
dotta,  the  Via  del  Proconsolo,  to  the  Duomo,  through 
whose  central  doors  they  passed,  depositing  the  sacred 
burden  at  the  high  altar.  I  should  add  that  anyone  on 
the  route  in  charge  of  a  street  shrine  had  the  right  to  stop 
the  procession  in  order  to  take  a  light  from  it ;  while  at  SS. 
Apostoli  women  congregated  with  tapers  and  lanterns  in 
the  hope  of  getting  these  kindled  from  the  sacred  flame, 
in  order  to  wash  their  babies  or  cook  their  food  in  water 
heated  with  the  fire. 

Meanwhile  at  seven  o'clock  the  four  oxen,  which  are 
kept  in  the  Cascine  all  the  year  round  and  do  no  other 
work,  had  been  harnessed  to  the  car  and  had  drawn  it  to 



the  Piazza  del  Duomo,  which  was  reached  about  nine. 
The  oxen  were  then  tethered  by  the  Pisano  doors  of  the 
Baptistei-y  until  needed  again. 

After  some  haggling  on  the  night  before,  I  had  secured 
a  seat  on  a  balcony  facing  Ghiberti's  first  Baptisteiy  doore, 
for  eleven  lire,  and  to  this  place  I  went  at  half-past  ten. 
The  piazza  was  then  filling  up,  and  at  a  quarter  to  eleven 
the  trams  running  between  the  Cathedral  and  the  Baptis- 
tery were  stopped.  In  this  space  was  the  car.  The  present 
one,  which  dates  from  1622,  is  more  like  a  catafalque,  and 
unless  one  sees  it  in  motion,  with  the  massive  white  oxen 
pulling  it,  one  cannot  beHeve  in  it  as  a  vehicle  at  all.  It 
is  some  thirty  feet  high,  all  black,  with  trumpery  coloured- 
paper  festoons  (concealing  fireworks)  upon  it :  trumpery  as 
only  the  Roman  Catholic  Church  can  contrive.  It  stood 
in  front  of  the  Duomo  some  fom'  yards  from  the  Baptistery 
gates  in  a  line  with  the  Duomo's  central  doors  and  the  high 
altar.  The  doors  were  open,  seats  being  placed  on  each 
side  of  the  aisle  the  whole  distance,  and  people  making  a 
solid  avenue.  Down  this  avenue  were  to  come  the  clergy, 
and  above  it  was  to  be  stretched  the  line  on  which  the 
dove  was  to  travel  from  the  altar,  with  the  Pazzi  fire,  to 
ignite  the  car. 

The  space  in  front  of  the  cathedral  was  cleared  at  about 
eleven,  and  cocked  hats  and  red-striped  trousers  then  be- 
came the  most  noticeable  feature.  The  crowd  was  jolly 
and  perhaps  a  little  cynical;  picture-postcard  hawkers 
made  most  of  the  noise,  and  for  some  reason  or  other  a  for- 
lorn peasant  took  this  opportunity  to  oifer  for  sale  two 
equally  forlorn  hedgehogs.  Each  moment  the  concourse 
increased,  for  it  is  a  fateful  day  and  every  one  wants  to 
know  the  issue :  because,  you  see,  if  the  dove  runs  true, 
lights  the  car,  and  returns,  as  a  good  dove  should,  to  the 


altar  ark,  there  will  be  a  prosperous  vintage  and  the  pyro- 
technist who  controls  the  sacred  bird's  movements  will  re- 
ceive his  wages.  But  if  the  dove  runs  defectively  and  there 
is  any  hitch,  evei-y  one  is  dismayed,  for  the  harvest  will  be 
bad  and  the  pyrotechnist  will  receive  nothing.  Once  he 
was  imprisoned  when  things  went  astray — and  quite  right 
too — but  the  Florentines  have  grown  more  lenient. 

At  about  a  quarter  past  eleven  a  procession  of  clergy 
emerged  from  the  Duomo  and  crossed  the  space  to  the 
Baptistery.  First,  boys  and  youths  in  surplices.  Then 
some  scarlet  hoods,  waddling.  Then  purple  hoods,  and 
other  colours,  a  little  paunchier,  waddling  more,  and 
lastly  the  archbishop,  very  sumptuous.  All  having  disap- 
peared into  the  Baptistery,  through  Ghiberti's  second  gates, 
which  I  never  saw  opened  before,  the  dove's  wire  was 
stretched  and  fastened,  a  matter  needing  much  care ;  and 
the  crowds  began  to  surge.  The  cocked  hats  and  officers 
had  the  space  all  to  themselves,  with  the  car,  the  firemen, 
the  pyrotechnist  and  the  few  privileged  and  very  self- 
conscious  civilians  who  were  allowed  inside. 

A  curious  incident,  which  many  years  ago  might  have 
been  magnified  into  a  portent,  occurred  while  the  ecclesi- 
astics were  in  the  Baptistery.  Some  one  either  bought  and 
Uberated  several  air  balloons,  or  the  string  holding  them 
was  suri-eptitiously  cut ;  but  however  it  happened,  the  balls 
escaped  and  suddenly  the  crowd  sent  up  a  triumphant  yell. 
At  first  I  could  see  no  reason  for  it,  the  Baptistery  inter- 
vening, but  then  the  balls  swam  into  our  ken  and  steadily 
floated  over  the  cathedral  out  of  sight  amid  tremendous 
satisfaction.  And  the  portent?  Well,  as  they  moved 
against  the  blue  sky  they  formed  themselves  into  precisely 
the  pattern  of  the  palle  on  the  Medici  escutcheon.  That 
is  all.     But  think  what  that  would  have  meant  in  the 


fifteenth  century  ;  the  nods  and  frowns  it  would  have  oc- 
casioned ;  the  dispersal  of  the  Medici,  the  loss  of  power,  and 
all  the  rest  of  it,  that  it  would  have  presaged  ! 

At  about  twenty  to  twelve  the  ecclesiastics  returned  and 
were  swallowed  up  by  the  Duomo,  and  then  excitement 
began  to  be  acute.  The  pyrotechnist  was  not  free  from  it ; 
he  fussed  about  nervously  ;  he  tested  everything  again  and 
again ;  he  crawled  under  the  car  and  out  of  it ;  he  talked 
to  officials  ;  he  inspected  and  re-inspected.  Photographers 
began  to  adjust  their  distances ;  the  detached  men  in 
bowlers  looked  at  their  watches ;  the  cocked  hats  drew 
nearer  to  the  Duomo  door.  And  then  we  heard  a  tearing 
noise.  All  eyes  were  turned  to  the  great  door,  and  out 
rushed  the  dove  emitting  a  wake  of  sparks,  entered  the  car 
and  was  out  again  on  its  homewai-d  journey  before  one 
realized  what  had  happened.  And  then  the  explosions 
began,  and  the  bells — silent  since  Thursday — broke  out. 
How  many  explosions  there  were  I  do  not  know ;  but  they 
seemed  to  go  on  for  ten  minutes. 

This  is  a  great  moment  not  only  for  the  spectator  but 
for  all  Florence,  for  in  myriad  rooms  mothers  have  been 
waiting,  with  their  babies  on  their  knees,  for  the  first  clang 
of  the  belfries,  because  if  a  child's  eyes  are  washed  then  it 
is  unlikely  ever  to  have  weak  sight,  while  if  a  baby  takes 
its  first  steps  to  this  accompaniment  its  legs  will  not  be 

At  the  last  explosion  the  pyrotechnist,  now  a  calm  man 
once  more  and  a  proud  one,  approached  the  car,  the  fire- 
men poured  water  on  smouldering  parts,  and  the  work  of 
clearing  up  began.  Then  came  the  patient  oxen,  their 
horns  and  hooves  gilt,  and  great  masses  of  flowers  on  their 
heads,  and  red  cloths  with  the  lily  of  Florence  on  it  over 
their  backs — much  to  be  regretted  since  they  obliterated 


their  beautiful  white  skins — and  slowly  the  car  lumbered 
off,  and,  the  cocked  hats  relenting,  the  crowd  poured  after 
it  and  the  Scoppio  del  Carro  was  over. 

The  Duomo  has  a  little  sister  in  the  shape  of  the  Museo 
di  Santa  Maria  del  Fiore,  or  the  Museo  dell'  Opera  del 
Duomo,  situated  in  the  Piazza  opposite  the  apse ;  and  we 
should  go  there  now.  This  museum,  which  is  at  once  the 
smallest  and,  with  the  exception  of  the  Natural  History 
Museum,  the  cheapest  of  the  Florentine  museums,  for  it 
costs  but  half  a  lira,  is  notable  for  containing  the  two 
cantorie,  or  singing  gallei'ies,  made  for  the  cathedral,  one 
by  Donatello  and  one  by  Luca  della  Robbia.  A  cantoria 
by  Donatello  we  shall  soon  see  in  its  place  in  S.  Lorenzo ; 
but  that,  beautiful  as  it  is,  cannot  compai'e  with  this  one, 
with  its  procession  of  merry,  dancing  children,  its  massive- 
ness  and  grace,  its  joyous  ebullitions  of  gold  mosaic  and 
blue  enamel.  Both  the  cantorie — Donatello's,  begun  in 
1433  and  finished  in  1439,  and  Luca's,  begun  in  1431  and 
finished  in  1438 — fulfilled  their  melodious  functions  in  the 
■  Duomo  until  1688,  when  they  were  ruthlessly  cleared 
away  to  make  room  for  large  wooden  balconies  to  be  used 
in  connexion  with  the  nuptials  of  Ferdinand  de'  Medici 
and  the  Princess  Violante  of  Bavaria.  In  the  year  1688 
taste  was  at  a  low  ebb,  and  no  one  thought  the  deposed  can- 
torie even  worth  preservation,  so  that  they  were  broken 
up  and  occasionally  levied  upon  for  cornices  and  so  forth. 
The  fragments  were  collected  and  taken  to  the  Bargello 
in  the  middle  of  the  last  century,  and  in  1883  Signor  del 
Moro,  the  then  architect  of  the  Duomo  (whose  bust  is 
in  the  courtyard  of  this  museum),  reconstructed  them  to 
the  best  of  his  ability  in  their  present  situation.  It  has 
to  be  remembered  not  only  that,  with  the  exception  of  the 
figures,  the  galleries  are  not  as  their  artists  made  them. 


lacking  many  beautiful  accessories,  but  that,  as  Vasari  tells 
us,  Donatello  deliberately  designed  his  for  a  dim  light. 
None  the  less,  they  remain  two  of  the  most  delightful 
works  of  the  Renaissance  and  two  of  the  rarest  treasures 
of  Florence. 

The  dancing  boys  behind  the  small  pillars  with  their  gold 
chequering,  the  brackets,  and  the  urn  of  the  cornice  over 
the  second  pair  of  pillars  from  the  right,  are  all  that  remain 
of  Donatello's  own  handiwork.  All  else  is  new  and  con- 
jectural. It  is  supposed  that  bronze  heads  of  lions  filled 
the  two  circular  spaces  between  the  brackets  in  the  middle. 
But  although  the  loss  of  the  work  as  a  whole  is  to  be  re- 
gretted, the  dancing  boys  remain,  to  be  for  ever  an  inspira- 
tion and  a  pleasure.  The  Luca  della  Robbia  cantoria 
opposite  is  not  quite  so  triumphant  a  masterpiece,  but 
from  the  point  of  view  of  suitability  it  is  perhaps  better. 
We  can  believe  that  Luca's  children  hymn  the  glory  of 
the  Lord,  as  indeed  the  inscription  makes  them,  whereas 
Donatello's  romp  with  a  gladness  that  might  easily  be 
purely  pagan.  Luca's  design  is  more  formal,  more  con- 
ventional ;  Donatello's  is  rich  and  free  and  fluid  with  per- 
sonality. The  two  end  panels  of  Luca's  are  supplied  in 
the  cantoria  by  casts ;  the  originals  are  on  the  wall  below 
and  may  be  carefully  studied.  The  animation  and  fei-vour 
of  these  choristers  are  unforgettable. 

It  is  well,  while  enjoying  Donatello's  work,  to  remember 
that  Prato  is  only  half  an  hour  from  Florence,  and  that 
there  may  be  seen  the  open-air  pulpit,  built  on  the  corner 
of  the  cathedral,  which  Donatello,  with  Michelozzo,  his 
friend  and  colleague,  made  at  the  same  time  that  the 
cantoria  was  in  progress,  and  which  in  its  relief  of  happy 
children  is  very  similar,  although  not,  I  think,  quite  so 
remarkable.    It  lacks  also  the  peculiarly  naturalistic  effect 



gained  in  the  cantox-ia  by  setting  the  dancing  boys  behind 
the  pillars,  which  undoubtedly,  as  comparison  with  the  Luca 
shows,  assists  realism.  The  row  of  pillars  attracts  the  eye 
first  and  the  boys  are  thus  thiown  into  a  backgi-ound  which 
almost  moves. 

Although  the  cantoris  dominate  the  museum  they  must 
not  be  allowed  to  overshadow  all  else.  A  marble  relief  of 
the  Madonna  and  Children  by  Agostino  di  Duccio  (1418- 
1481)  must  be  sought  for :  it  is  No.  77  and  the  children  are 
the  merriest  in  Florence.  Another  memorable  Madonna 
and  Child  is  No.  94,  by  Pagno  di  Lapo  Portigiani  (1406- 
1470),  who  has  interest  for  us  in  this  place  as  being  one  of 
Donatello's  assistants,  very  possibly  on  this  very  cantoria, 
and  almost  certainly  on  the  Prato  pulpit.  Everything 
here,  it  must  be  remembered,  has  some  association  with  the 
Duomo  and  was  brought  here  for  careful  preservation  and 
that  whoever  has  fifty  centimes  might  take  pleasure  in 
seeing  it ;  but  the  great  silver  altar  is  from  the  Baptistery, 
and  being  made  for  that  temple  is  naturally  dedicated  to 
the  life  of  John  the  Baptist,  Although  much  of  it  was  the 
work  of  not  the  greatest  modellers  in  the  second  half  of  the 
fourteenth  century,  three  masters  at  least  contributed 
later :  Michelozzo  adding  the  statue  of  the  Baptist,  Pol- 
laiuolo  the  side  relief  depicting  his  birth,  and  Verrocchio 
that  of  his  death,  which  is  considered  one  of  the  most  re- 
markable works  of  this  sculptor,  whom  we  are  to  find  so 
richly  represented  at  the  Bargello.  Before  leaving  this 
room,  look  for  100^  an  unknown  teiTa-cotta  of  the  Birth  of 
Eve,  which  is  both  masterly  and  amusing,  and  110*,  a  very 
lovely  intaglio  in  wood.  I  might  add  that  among  the  few 
paintings,  all  very  eai-ly,  is  a  S.  Sebastian  in  whose  sacred 
body  I  counted  no  fewer  than  thirty  arrows ;  which  within 


my  knowledge  of  pictures  of  this  saint— not  inconsiderable 
— is  the  highest  number. 

The  next  room  is  given  to  models  and  architectural  plans 
and  drawings  connected  with  the  cathedral,  the  most  in- 
teresting thing  being  Brunelleschi's  own  model  for  the 
lantern.  On  the  stairs  are  a  series  of  fine  bas-reliefs  by 
Bandinelli  and  Giovanni  dell'  Opera  from  the  old  choir 
screen  of  the  Duomo,  and  downstairs,  among  many  other 
pieces  of  sculpture,  is  a  bust  of  Brunelleschi  from  a  death- 
mask  and  several  beautiful  della  Robbia  designs  for 
lunettes  over  doors. 



A  short  way  with  Veronese  critics— Giotto's  missing  spire— Donatello's 
holy  men— Giotto  as  encyclopaedist— The  seven  and  twenty  reliefs— Rus- 
kin  in  American — At  the  top  of  the  tower — A  sea  of  red  roofs — The  rest- 
ful Baptistery — Historic  stones — An  ex-Pope's  tomb — Andrea  Pisano's 
doors — Ghiberti's  first  doors — Ghiberti's  second  doors — Michelangelo's 
praise — A  gentleman  artist. 

IT  was  in  1332,  as  I  have  said,  that  Giotto  was  made 
capo-maestro,  and  on  July  18th,  1334,  the  iirst  stone 
of  his  campanile  was  laid,  the  understanding  being  that 
the  structure  was  to  exceed  "  in  magnificence,  height,  and 
excellence  of  workmanship"  anything  in  the  world.  As 
some  further  indication  of  the  glorious  feeling  of  patriot- 
ism then  animating  the  Florentines,  it  may  be  remai-ked 
that  when  a  Veronese  who  happened  to  be  in  Florence 
ventured  to  suggest  that  the  city  was  aiming  I'ather  too 
high,  he  was  at  once  thrown  into  gaol,  and,  on  being  set 
free  when  his  time  was  done,  was  shown  the  treasury  as 
an  object  lesson.  Of  the  wealth  and  purposefulness  of 
Florence  at  that  time,  in  spite  of  the  disastrous  bellicose 
period  she  had  been  passing  through,  Villani  the  historian, 
who  wrote  history  as  it  was  being  made,  gives  an  excellent 
account,  which  Macaulay  summarizes  in  his  vivid  way. 
Thus  :  "  The  revenue  of  the  Republic  amounted  to  three 
hundred  thousand  florins ;  a  sum  which,  allowing  for  the 
depreciation  of  the  precious  metals,  was  at   least  equiva- 



lent  to  six  hundred  thousand  pounds  sterling;  a  larger 
sum  than  England  and  Ireland,  two  centuries  ago,  yielded 
to  Elizabeth.  The  manufacture  of  wool  alone  employed 
two  hundred  factories  and  thirty  thousand  workmen.  The 
cloth  annually  produced  sold,  at  an  average,  for  twelve 
hundred  thousand  florins  ;  a  sum  fully  equal  in  exchange- 
able value  to  two  millions  and  a  half  of  our  money. 
Four  hundred  thousand  florins  were  annually  coined. 
Eighty  banks  conducted  the  commercial  operations,  not 
of  Florence  only  but  of  all  Europe.  The  transactions  of 
these  establishments  were  sometimes  of  a  magnitude  which 
may  surprise  even  the  contemporaries  of  the  Barings  and 
the  Rothschilds.  Two  houses  advanced  to  Edward  III  of 
England  upwards  of  three  hundred  thousand  marks,  at  a 
time  when  the  mark  contained  more  silver  than  fifty  shil- 
lings of  the  present  day,  and  when  the  value  of  silver  was 
more  than  quadruple  of  what  it  now  is.  The  city  and  its 
environs  contained  a  hundred  and  seventy  thousand  chil- 
dren inhabitants.  In  the  various  schools  about  ten  thousand 
children  were  taught  to  read;  twelve  hundred  studied 
arithmetic ;  six  hundred  received  a  learned  education." 

Giotto  died  in  13S6,  and  after  his  death,  as  I  have  said, 
Andrea  Pisano  came  in  for  a  while ;  to  be  followed  by 
Talenti,  who  is  said  to  have  made  considerable  alterations  in 
Giotto's  design  and  to  be  responsible  for  the  happy  idea 
of  increasing  the  height  of  the  windows  with  the  height  of 
the  tower  and  thus  adding  to  the  illusion  of  springing 
lightness.  The  topmost  ones,  so  bold  in  size  and  so  lovely 
with  their  spiral  columns,  almost  seem  to  lift  it. 

The  campanile  to-day  is  276  feet  in  height,  and  Giotto 
•  proposed  to  add  to  that  a  spire  of  105  feet.     The  Floren- 
tines completed  the  faqade  of  the  cathedral  in  1887  and 
are  now  spending  enormous  sums  on  the  Medici  chapel  at 


S.  Lorenzo  ;  why  should  they  not  one  day  cai-ry  out  then- 
greatest  artist's  intention  ? 

The  campanile  as  a  structure  had  been  finished  in  1387, 
but  not  for  many  years  did  it  receive  its  statues,  of  which 
something  must  be  said,  although  it  is  impossible  to  get 
more  than  a  vague  idea  of  them,  so  high  are  they.  A  cap- 
tive balloon  should  be  arranged  for  the  use  of  visitors. 
Those  by  Donatello,  on  the  Baptistery  side,  are  the  most 
remarkable.  The  first  of  these— that  nearest  to  the 
cathedral  and  the  most  striking  as  seen  from  the  distant 
earth^ris  called  John  the  Baptist,  always  a  favourite  subject 
with  this  sculptor,  who,  since  he  more  than  any  at  that 
thoughtful  time  endeavoured  to  discover  and  disclose  the 
secret  of  character,  is  curiously  unfortunate  in  the  accident 
that  has  fastened  names  to  these  figures.  This  John,  for 
example,  bears  no  relation  to  his  other  Baptists ;  noi'  does 
the  next  figure  represent  David,  as  is  generally  supposed, 
but  owes  that  error  to  the  circumstance  that  when  the  David 
that  originally  stood  here  was  moved  to  the  north  side, 
tJie  old  plinth  bearing  his  name  was  left  behind.  This 
famous  figure  is  stated  by  Vasari  to  be  a  portrait  of  a  Floren- 
tine merchant  named  Barduccio  Cheiichini,  and  for  cen- 
turies it  has  been  known  as  II  Zuccone  (or  pumpkin) 
from  its  baldness.  Donatello,  according  to  Vasari,  had  a 
particular  liking  for  the  work,  so  much  that  he  used  to  swear 
by  it ;  while,  when  engaged  upon  it,  he  is  said  to  have  so  be- 
lieved in  its  reality  as  to  exclaim,  "  Speak,  speak  !  or  may  a 
dysentery  seize  thee ! "  It  is  now  generally  considered  to  re- 
present Job,  and  we  cannot  too  much  regret  the  impossibility 
of  getting  near  enough  to  study  it.  Next  is  the  Jeremiah, 
which,  according  to  Vasari,  was  a  portrait  of  another 
Florentine,  but  which,  since  he  bears  his  name  on  a  scroll, 
may  none  the  less  be  taken  to  realize  the  sculptor's  idea  of 




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Jeremiah.  It  is  (according  to  the  photographs)  a  fine 
piece  of  rugged  vivacity,  and  the  head  is  absolutely  that  of 
a  real  man.  On  the  opposite  side  of  the  tower  is  the 
magnificent  Abraham's  sacrifice  from  the  same  strong  hand, 
and  by  it  Habakkuk,  who  is  no  less  near  life  than  the 
Jeremiah  and  Job,  but  a  very  diiFerent  type.  At  both 
Or  San  Michele  and  the  Bargello  we  are  to  find  Donatello 
perhaps  in  a  finer  mood  than  here,  and  comfortably  visible. 

For  most  visitors  to  Florence  and  all  disciples  of  Ruskin, 
the  chief  interest  of  the  campanile  ("The  Shepherd's 
Tower  "  as  he  calls  it)  is  the  series  of  twenty-seven  reliefs 
illustrating  the  history  of  the  world  and  the  progress  of 
mankind,  which  are  to  be  seen  round  the  base,  the  design, 
it  is  supposed,  of  Giotto,  executed  by  Andrea  Pisano  and 
Luca  della  Robbia.  To  Andrea  are  given  all  those  on  the 
west  (7),  south  (7),  east  (5),  and  the  two  eastern  ones  on  the 
north ;  to  Luca  the  remaining  five  on  the  north.  Ruskin's 
fascinating  analysis  of  these  reliefs  should  most  certainly  be 
read  (without  a  total  forgetfulness  of  the  shepherd's  other 
activities  as  a  painter,  architect,  humorist,  and  friend  of 
princes  and  poets),  but  equally  certainly  not  in  the  American 
pirated  edition  which  the  Florentine  booksellers  are  so  ready 
(to  their  shame)  to  seU  you.  Only  Ruskin  in  his  best  mood 
of  fury  could  begin  to  do  justice  to  the  misspellings  and 
mispunctuations  of  this  terrible  production. 

Ruskin,  I  may  say,  believes  several  of  the  carvings  to 
be  from  Giotto's  own  chisel  as  well  as  design,  but  other 
and  more  modem  authorities  disagree,  although  opinion 
now  inclines  to  the  belief  that  the  designs  for  Pisano's 
Baptistery  doors  are  also  his.  Such  thoroughness  and 
ingenuity  were  all  in  Giotto's  way,  and  they  certainly  sug- 
gest his  active  mind.  The  campanile  series  begins  at  the 
west  side  with  the  creation  of  man.     Among  the  most 


attractive  are,  I  think,  those  devoted  to  agriculture,  with 
the  spirited  oxen,  to  astronomy,  to  architecture,  to  weaving, 
and  to  pottery.  Giotto  was  even  so  thorough  as  to  give 
one  relief  to  the  conquest  of  the  air ;  and  he  makes  Noah 
most  satisfactorily  drunk.  Note  also  the  Florentine  fleur- 
de-lis  round  the  base  of  the  tower.  Every  fleur-de-lis  in 
Florence  is  beautiful — even  those  on  advertisements  and 
fire-plugs — but  few  are  more  beautiful  than  these. 

I  climbed  the  campanile  one  fine  morning — 417  steps  from 
the  ground — and  was  well  repaid ;  but  I  think  it  is  wiser 
to  ascend  the  tower  of  the  Palazzo  Vecchio,  because  one  is 
higher  there  and,  since  the  bulk  of  the  dome,  which  intrudes 
from  the  campanile,  is  avoided,  one  has  a  better  all-round 
view.  Florence  seen  from  this  eminence  is  very  red — so 
uniformly  so  that  many  towers  rise  against  it  almost  indis- 
tinguishably,  particularly  the  Bargello's  and  the  Badia's. 
One  sees  at  once  how  few  straight  streets  there  are — the 
Ricasoli  standing  out  among  them  as  the  exception  ;  and 
one  realizes  how  the  city  has  developed  outside,  with  its 
boulevards  where  the  walls  once  were,  leaving  the  gates 
isolated,  and  its  cincture  of  factories.  The  occasional  glimpses 
of  cloisters  and  verdure  among  the  red  are  very  pleasant. 
One  of  the  objects  cut  off  by  the  cathedral  dome  is  the 
English  cemetery,  but  the  modem  Jewish  temple  stands 
out  as  noticeably  almost  as  any  of  the  ancient  buUdings. 
The  Pitti  looks  like  nothing  but  a  barracks  and  the  Porta 
Ferdinando  has  prominence  which  it  gets  from  no  other 
point.  The  roof  of  the  Mercato  Centrale  is  the  ugliest 
thing  in  the  view.  While  I  was  there  the  midday  gun 
from  the  Boboli  fortress  was  fii-ed,  instantly  having  its 
punctual  double  effect  of  sending  all  the  pigeons  up  in  a 
gi'ey  cloud  of  simulated  alarm  and  starting  every  bell  in  the 


Those  wishing  to  make  either  the  campanile  or  Duomo 
ascents  must  remember  to  do  it  early.  The  closing  hour 
for  the  day  being  twelve,  no  one  is  allowed  to  stai-t  up 
after  about  a  quarter  past  eleven  :  a  very  foolish  arrange- 
ment, since  Florence  and  the  surrounding  Apennines  under 
a  slanting  sun  are  more  beautiful  than  in  the  morning  glare, 
and  the  ascent  would  be  less  fatiguing.  As  it  was,  on  de- 
scending, after  being  so  long  at  the  top,  I  was  severely 
reprimanded  by  the  custodian,  who  had  previously  marked 
me  down  as  a  barbarian  for  refusing  his  offer  of  field-glasses. 
But  the  Palazzo  Vecchio  tower  is  open  till  five. 

The  Baptistery  is  the  beautiful  octagonal  building  op- 
posite the  cathedral,  and  once  the  cathedral  itself.  It  dates 
from  the  seventh  or  eighth  century,  but  as  we  see  it  now 
is  a  product  chiefly  of  the  thirteenth.  The  bronze  doors 
opposite  the  Via  Calzaioli  are  open  every  day,  a  circum- 
stance which  visitors,  baffled  by  the  two  sets  of  Ghiberti 
doors  always  so  firmly  closed,  are  apt  to  overlook.  All 
children  born  in  Florence  are  still  baptized  here,  and  I 
watched  one  afternoon  an  old  priest  at  the  task,  a  tiny 
Florentine  being  brought  in  to  receive  the  name  of  Tosca, 
which  she  did  with  less  distaste  than  most,  considering 
how  thorough  was  his  sprinkling.  The  Baptistery  is  rich 
in  colour  both  without  and  within.  The  floor  alone  is 
a  marvel  of  intricate  inlaying,  including  the  signs  of  the 
zodiac  and  a  gnomic  sentence  which  reads  the  same  back- 
wards and  forwards — "  En  gire  torte  sol  ciclos  et  i-oterigne  ". 
On  this  very  pavement  Dante,  who  called  the  church  his 
"  beautiful  San  Giovanni, "  has  walked.  Over  the  altar  is  a 
gigantic  and  primitive  Christ  in  mosaic,  more  splendid  than 
spiiitual.  The  mosaics  in  the  recesses  of  the  clerestory — 
grey  and  white — are  the  most  soft  and  lovely  of  all.  I  believe 
the  Baptistery  is  the  most  restful  place  in  Florence  ;  and 


this  is  rather  odd  considering  that  it  is  all  marble  and 
mosaic  patterns.  But  its  shape  is  very  soothing,  and  age 
has  given  it  a  quality  of  its  own,  and  there  is  just  that 
touch  of  barbarism  about  it  such  as  one  gets  in  Byzantine 
buildings  to  lend  it  a  peculiar  character  here. 

The  most  notable  sculpture  in  the  Baptistery  is  the  tomb 
of  the  ex-Pope  John  XXIII,  whose  licentiousness  was  such 
that  there  was  nothing  for  it  but  to  depose  and  imprison 
him.  He  had,  however,  much  money,  and  on  his  libera- 
tion he  settled  in  Florence,  presented  a  true  finger  of  John 
the  Baptist  to  the  Baptistery,  and  arranged  in  return  for 
his  bones  to  repose  in  that  sanctuary.  One  of  his  execu- 
tors was  that  Niccolo  da  Uzzano,  the  head  of  the  noble 
faction  in  the  city,  whose  coloured  bust  by  Donatello  is  in 
the  Bargello.  The  tomb  is  exceedingly  fine,  the  work  of 
Donatello  and  his  partner  Michelozzo,  who  were  engaged 
to  make  it  by  Giovanni  de'  Medici,  the  ex-pontiff's  friend, 
and  the  father  of  the  great  Cosimo.  The  design  is  all 
Donatello's,  and  his  the  recumbent  cleric,  lying  very  natur- 
ally, hardly  as  if  dead  at  all,  a  little  on  one  side,  so  that 
his  face  is  seen  pearly  full ;  the  -three  figures  beneath  are 
Michelozzo's ;  but  Donatello  probably  cai-ved  the  seated 
angels  who  display  the  scroll  which  bears  the  dead  Pope's 
name.  The  Madonna  and  Child  above  are  by  Donatello's 
assistant,  Pagno  di  Lapo  Portigiani,  a  pretty  relief  by 
whom  we  saw  in  the  Museum  of  the  Cathedral.  Being  in 
red  stone,  and  very  dusty,  like  Ghiberti's  doors  (which  want 
the  hose  regularly),  the  lines  of  the  tomb  are  much  im- 
paired. Donatello  is  also  represented  here  by  a  Mary 
Magdalene  in  wood,  on  an  altar  at  the  left  of  the  entrance 
door,  very  powerful  and  poignant. 

In  the  ordinary  way,  when  visitors  to  Florence  speak  of 
the  Baptistery  doors  they  mean  those  opposite  the  Duomo, 


and  when  they  go  to  the  Beirgello  and  look  at  the  designs 
made  by  Ghiberti  and  Brunelleschi  in  competition,  they 
think  that  the  competition  was  for  those.  But  that  is 
wrong.  Ghiberti  won  his  spurs  with  the  doora  on  the 
north  side,  at  which  comparatively  few  persons  look.  The 
famous  doors  opposite  the  Duomo  were  commissioned  many 
years  later,  when  his  genius  was  acknowledged  and  when 
he  had  become  so  accomplished  as  to  do  what  he  liked 
with  his  medium.  Before,  however,  coming  to  Ghiberti,  we 
ought  to  look  at  the  work  of  an  early  predecessor  but  for 
whom  there  might  have  been  no  Ghiberti  at  all ;  for  while 
Ghiberti  was  at  work  with  his  assistants  on  these  north 
doors,  between  1403  and  1424,  the  place  which  they  oc- 
cupy was  filled  by  those  executed  seventy  years  earlier  by 
Andrea  Pisano  (1270-1348),  possibly  from  Giotto's  designs, 
which  are  now  at  the  south  entrance,  opposite  the  charm- 
ing little  loggia  at  the  comer  of  the  Via  Calzaioli,  called 
the  Bigallo.  These  represent  twenty  scenes  in  the  life 
of  S.  John  the  Baptist,  and  below  them  are  eight  figures 
of  cai'dinal  and  Chi-istian  virtues,  and  they  employed  their 
sculptor  from  1330  to  1336.  They  have  three  claims  to 
notice  :  as  being  admii'ably  simple  and  vigorous  in  them- 
selves ;  as  having  influenced  all  later  workers  in  this 
medium,  and  particularly  Ghiberti  and  Donatello  ;  and  as 
being  the  bronze  work  of  the  sculptor  of  certain  of  the 
stone  scenes  round  the  base  of  Giotto's  campanile.  The 
panel  in  which  the  Baptist  is  seen  up  to  his  waist  in  the 
water  is  surely  the  very  last  word  in  audacity  in  bronze. 
Ghiberti  was  charged  with  making  bronze  do  things  that 
it  was  ill  fitted  for  ;  but  I  do  not  know  that  even  he  moulded 
water — and  transparent  water — from  it. 

The  year  1399  is  one  of  the  most  notable  in  the  history 
of  modem  art,  since  it  was  then  that  the  competition  for 


the  Baptisteiy  gates  was  made  public,  this  announcement 
being  the  spring  from  which  many  rivers  flowed.  In  that 
year  Lorenzo  Ghiberti,  a  young  goldsmith  assisting  his 
father,  was  twenty-one,  and  Filippo  Brunelleschi,  another 
goldsmith,  was  twenty-two,  while  Giotto  had  been  dead 
sixty-three  years  and  the  impulse  he  had  given  to  painting 
had  almost  worked  itself  out.  The  new  doors  were  to  be 
of  the  same  shape  and  size  as  those  by  Andrea  Pisano, 
which  were  already  getting  on  for  seventy  years  old,  and 
candidates  were  invited  to  make  a  specimen  relief  to  scale, 
representing  the  interrupted  sacrifice  of  Isaac,  although  the 
subject-matter  of  the  doors  was  to  be  the  Life  of  S.  John 
the  Baptist.  Among  the  judges  was  that  Florentine  ban- 
ker whose  name  was  beginning  to  be  known  in  the  city  as 
a  synonym  for  philanthropy,  enlightenment,  and  sagacity, 
Giovanni  de'  Medici.  In  1401  the  specimens  were  ready, 
and  after  much  deliberation  as  to  which  was  the  better, 
Ghiberti's  or  Brunelleschi's — assisted,  some  say,  by  Brunel- 
leschi's  own  advice  in  favoui*  of  his  rival — the  award  was 
given  to  Ghiberti,  and  he  was  instnicted  to  proceed  with 
his  task  ;  while  Brunelleschi,  as  we  have  seen,  being  a  man 
of  determined  ambition,  left  for  Rome  to  study  architec- 
ture, having  made  up  his  mind  to  be  second  to  no  one  in 
whichever  of  the  arts  and  crafts  he  decided  to  pursue. 
Here  then  was  the  first  result  of  the  competition — that  it 
turned  Brunelleschi  to  architecture. 

Ghiberti  began  seriously  in  1403  and  continued  till 
1424,  when  the  doors  were  finished  ;  but,  in  order  to  carry 
out  the  work,  he  required  assistance  in  casting  and  so 
forth,  and  for  that  purpose  engaged  among  others  a  sculp- 
tor named  Donatello  (bom  in  1386),  a  younger  sculptor 
named  Luca  della  Robbia  (bom  in  1400),  and  a  gigantic 
young  painter  called  Masaccio  (born  in  1401),  each  of  whom 


was  destined,  taking  fire  no  doubt  from  Ghiberti  and  his 
fine  free  way,  to  be  a  powerful  innovator — Donatello  (apart 
from  other  and  rarer  achievements)  being  the  fii-st  sculptor 
since  antiquity  to  place  a  statue  on  a  pedestal  around 
which  observers  could  walk ;  Masaccio  being  the  first 
painter  to  make  pictures  in  the  modem  use  of  the  term, 
with  men  and  women  of  flesh  and  blood  in  them,  as  distin- 
guished ft-om  decorative  saints,  and  to  be  by  example  the 
instructor  of  all  the  greatest  masters,  from  his  pupil  Lippo 
Lippi  to  Leonardo  and  Michelangelo ;  and  Luca  della 
Robbia  being  the  inspired  discoverer  of  an  inexpensive 
means  of  glazing  terra-cotta  so  that  his  beautiful  and 
radiant  Madonnas  could  be  brought  within  the  purchasing 
means  of  the  poorest  congregation  in  Italy.  These  alone 
are  remarkable  enough  results,  but  when  we  recollect  also 
that  Brunelleschi's  defeat  led  to  the  building  of  the  cathe- 
dral dome,  the  significance  of  the  event  becomes  the  more 

The  doors,  as  I  say,  were  finished  in  1424,  after  twenty- 
one  years'  labour,  and  the  Signoria  left  the  Palazzo  Vecchio 
in  procession  to  see  their  installation.  In  the  number  and 
shape  of  the  panels  Pisano  set  the  standard,  but  Ghiberti's 
work  resembled  that  of  his  predecessor  very  little  in  other 
ways,  for  he  had  a  mind  of  domestic  sweetness  without  aus- 
terity and  he  was  interested  in  making  everything  as  easy 
and  fluid  and  beautiful  as  might  be.  His  thoroughness 
recalls  Giotto  in  certain  of  his  frescoes.  The  impression 
left  by  Pisano's  doors  is  akin  to  that  left  by  reading  the 
New  Testament ;  but  Ghiberti  makes  everything  happier 
than  that.  Two  scenes — both  on  the  level  of  the  eye — I 
particularly  like  :  the  "  Annunciation,"  with  its  little,  lithe, 
reluctant  Virgin,  tind  the  "Adoration".    The  border  of 


the  Pisano  doors  is,  I  think,  finer  than  that  of  Ghiberti's ; 
but  it  is  a  later  work. 

Looking  at  them  even  now,  with  eyes  that  remember  so 
much  of  the  best  art  that  followed  them  and  took  inspii'a- 
tion  from  them,  we  can  understand  the  better  how  delighted 
Florence  must  have  been  with  this  new  picture  gallery  and 
how  the  doors  were  besieged  by  sightseers.  But  greater 
still  was  to  come.  Ghiberti  at  once  received  the  commission 
to  make  two  more  doors  on  his  own  scale  for  the  south  side 
of  the  Baptisteiy,  and  in  1425  he  had  begun  on  them. 
These  were  not  finished  until  1452,  so  that  Ghiberti,  then 
a  man  of  seventy-four,  had  given  practically  his  whole  life 
to  the  making  of  four  bronze  doors.  It  is  true  that  he  did 
a  few  other  things  besides,  such  as  the  casket  of  S.  Zenobius 
in  the  Duomo,  and  the  Baptist  and  S.  Matthew  for  Or  San 
Michele ;  but  he  may  be  said  justly  to  live  by  his  doors, 
and  particularly  by  the  second  pair,  although  it  was  the 
fix-st  pair  that  had  the  gi-eater  effect  on  his  contemporaries 
and  followers. 

Among  his  assistants  on  these  were  Antonio  PoUaiuolo 
(born  in  1429),  who  designed  the  quail  in  the  left  border,  and 
Paolo  Uccello  (bom  in  1397),  both  destined  to  be  men  of 
influence.  The  bald  head  on  the  right  door  is  a  portrait  of 
Ghibei-ti ;  that  of  the  old  man  on  the  left  is  his  father, 
who  helped  him  to  polish  the  original  competition  plaque. 
Although  commissioned  for  the  south  side  they  were  placed 
where  they  now  are,  on  the  east,  as  being  most  worthy  of 
the  position  of  honour,  and  Pisano's  doors,  which  used  to 
be  here,  were  moved  to  the  south,  where  they  now  are. 

On  Ghiberti's  workshop  opposite  S.  Maria  Nuova,  in  the 
Via  Bufalini,  the  memorial  tablet  mentions  Michelangelo's 
praise — that  these  dooi-s  were  beautiful  enough  to  be  the 
Gates  of  Paradise.     After  that  what  is  an  ordinary  person 


to  say?  That  they  are  lovely  is  a  commonplace.  But 
they  are  more.  They  are  so  sensitive ;  bronze,  the  medium 
which  Horace  has  called,  by  implication,  the  most  durable 
of  all,  has  become  in  Ghibeiii's  hands  almost  as  soft  as  wax 
and  tender  as  flesh.  It  does  all  he  asks ;  it  almost  moves  ; 
every  trace  of  sternness  has  vanished  fi-om  it.  Nothing  in 
plastic  art  that  we  have  ever  seen  or  shall  see  is  more  easy 
and  ingratiating  than  these  almost  living  pictures. 

Before  them  there  is  steadily  a  little  knot  of  admirers,  and 
on  Sundays  you  may  always  see  country  people  explaining 
the  panels  to  each  other.  Every  one  has  his  favourite  among 
these  fascinating  Biblical  scenes,  and  mine  are  Cain  and 
Abel,  with  the  ploughing,  and  Abraham  and  Isaac,  with 
its  row  of  fir  trees.  It  has  been  explained  by  the  purists 
that  the  sculptor  stretched  the  bounds  of  plastic  art  too 
far  and  made  bronze  paint  pictures ;  but  most  persons 
will  agree  to  ignore  that.  Of  the  charm  of  Ghiberti's  mind 
the  border  gives  further  evidence,  with  its  fruits  and  foliage, 
birds  and  woodland  creatures,  so  true  to  life,  and  here  fixed 
for  all  time,  so  naturally,  that  if  these  animals  should  ever 
(as  is  not  unlikely  in  Italy  where  every  one  has  a  gun  and 
shoots  at  his  pleasure)  become  extinct,  they  could  be 
created  again  from  these  designs. 

Ghiberti,  who  enjoyed  great  honour  in  his  life  and  a 
considerable  salai-y  as  joint  architect  of  the  dome  with 
Brunelleschi,  died  three  years  after  the  completion  of  the 
second  doors  and  was  buried  in  S.  Croce.  His  place  in 
Florentine  art  is  unique  and  glorious. 

The  broken  porphyry  pillars  by  these  second  doors  were 
a  gift  from  Pisa  to  Florence  in  recognition  of  Florence's 
watchfulness  over  Pisa  while  the  Pisans  were  away  sub- 
duing the  Balearic  islanders. 

The  bronze  group  over  Ghiberti's  first  doors,  representing 


John  the  Baptist  preaching  between  a  Pharisee  and  a 
Levite,  are  the  work  (either  alone  or  assisted  by  his  master 
Leonardo  da  Vinci)  of  an  interesting  Florentine  sculptor, 
Giovanni  Francesco  Rustici  (1474-1554),  who  was  remark- 
able among  the  artists  of  his  time  in  being  what  we  should 
call  an  amateur,  having  a  competence  of  his  own  and  the 
manners  of  a  patron.  Placing  himself  under  Ven-occhio, 
he  became  closely  attached  to  Leonai'do,  a  fellow-pupil, 
and  made  him  his  model  rather  than  the  older  man.  He 
took  his  ai-t  lightly,  and  lived,  in  Vasari's  phrase,  "free 
from  care,"  having  such  beguilements  as  a  tame  menagerie 
(Leonai-do,  it  will  be  remembered,  loved  animals  too  and 
had  a  habit  of  buying  small  caged  birds  in  order  to  set 
them  free),  and  two  or  three  dining  clubs,  the  members  of 
which  vied  with  each  other  in  devising  curious  and  exotic 
dishes.  Andrea  del  Sarto,  for  example,  once  brought  as 
his  contribution  to  the  feast  a  model  of  this  very  church 
we  are  studying,  the  Baptistery,  of  which  the  floor  was 
constructed  of  jelly,  the  pillars  of  sausages,  and  the  choir 
desk  of  cold  veal,  while  the  choristei"s  were  roast  thrushes. 
Rustici  further  paved  the  way  to  a  life  free  from  care  by  ap- 
pointing a  steward  of  his  estate  whose  duty  it  was  to  see  that 
his  money-box,  to  which  he  went  whenever  he  wanted  any- 
thing, always  had  money  in  it.  This  box  he  never  locked, 
having  leai-ned  that  he  need  fear  no  robbery  by  once  leav- 
ing his  cloak  for  two  days  under  a  bush  and  then  finding 
it  again.  "This  world,"  he  exclaimed,  "is  too  good:  it 
will  not  last."  Among  his  pets  were  a  porcupine  trained 
to  prick  the  legs  of  his  guests  under  the  table  "  so  that 
they  drew  them  in  quickly " ;  a  raven  that  spoke  like  a 
human  being ;  an  eagle,  and  many  snakes.  He  also  studied 
necromancy,  the  better  to  frighten  his  apprentices.  He 
left  Florence  in  1628,  after  the  Medici  expulsion,  and,  like 


Leonai-do,  took  service  with  Francis  the  First.     He  died  at 
the  age  of  eighty. 

I  had  an  hour  and  more  exactly  opposite  the  Rustici  group, 
on  the  same  level,  while  waiting  for  the  Scoppio  del  Carro, 
and  I  find  it  easy  to  believe  that  Leonardo  himself  had  a 
hand  in  the  work.  The  figure  of  the  Baptist  is  superb, 
the  attitude  of  his  listeners  masterly. 



An  evasion  of  history—"  II  Caparra  "—The  Gozzoli  frescoes— Giovanni 
de'  Medici  (di  Bicci)— Cosimo  de'  Medici— The  first  banishment— Piero 
de'  Medici— Lorenzo  de'  Medici— Piero  di  Lorenzo  de'  Medici— The 
second  banishment— Giuliano  di  Lorenzo  de'  Medici— Leo  X— Lorenzo 
di  Piero  di  Lorenzo  de'  Medici— Clement  VII— Third  banishment  of  the 
Medici— The  siege  of  Florence— Alessandrode'  Medici— Ippolito  de'  Medici 
— Lorenzino  de'  Medici— Giovanni  delle  Bande  Nere- Cosimo  I— The 
Grand  Dukes. 

THE  natural  step  from  the  Baptistery  would  be  to  the 
Uffizi.  But  for  us  not  yet;  because  in  order  to 
understand  Florence,  and  particularly  the  Florence  that 
existed  between  the  extreme  dates  that  I  have  chosen  as 
containing  the  fascinating  period — namely  1296,  when  the 
Duomo  was  begun,  and  1564<,  when  Michelangelo  died — 
one  must  undei-stand  who  and  what  the  Medici  were. 

While  I  have  been  enjoying  the  pleasant  task  of  writing 
this  book — which  has  been  more  agreeable  than  any  literary 
work  I  have  ever  done — I  have  continually  been  conscious 
of  a  plaintive  voice  at  my  shoulder,  proceeding  from  one 
of  the  vigilant  and  embarrassing  imps  who  sit  there  and  do 
duty  as  conscience,  inquiring  if  the  time  is  not  about  ripe 
for  introducing  that  historical  sketch  of  Florence  without 
which  no  account  such  as  this  can  be  rightly  understood. 
And  ever  I  have  replied  with  words  of  a  soothing  and  pro- 
crastinating nature.     But  now  that  we  are  face  to  face 


TUi-:    TDMi;    (il>     l,OKK.\ZO     hE    MliDlLl,     DUKIi    OF     TRHlNr 
UV    MICHI-:i.    A\GP:1-I)|\    IHK    new    SACklSTV    OF    S.     l.dl^ENZO 


with  the  Medici  family,  in  their  very  house,  I  am  conscious 
that  the  occasion  for  that  historical  sketch  is  here  indeed, 
and  equally  I  am  conscious  of  being  quite  incapable  of 
supplying  it.  For  the  history  of  Florence  between,  say 
the  birth  of  Giotto  or  Dante  and  the  return  of  Cosimo  de' 
Medici  from  exile,  when  the  absolute  Medici  rule  began,  is 
so  turbulent,  crowded,  and  complex  that  it  would  require 
the  whole  of  this  volume  to  describe  it.  The  changes  in 
the  government  of  the  city  would  alone  occupy  a  good 
third,  so  constant  and  complicated  were  they.  I  should 
have  to  explain  the  Guelphs  and  the  Ghibellines,  the  Neri 
and  the  Bianchi,  the  Guilds  and  the  Priors,  the  gonfalonieri 
and  the  podestsl,  the  secondo  popolo  and  the  buonuomini. 

Rather  than  do  this  imperfectly  I  have  chosen  to  do  it 
not  at  all ;  and  the  curious  must  resort  to  historians  proper. 
But  there  is  at  the  end  of  the  volume  a  table  of  the  chief 
dates  in  Florentine  and  European  history  in  the  period 
chosen,  together  with  births  and  deaths  of  artists  and  poets 
and  other  important  persons,  so  that  a  bird's-eye  view  of  the 
progiess  of  afiFairs  can  be  quickly  gained,  while  in  this 
chapter  I  offer  an  outline  of  the  gi'eat  family  of  rulers  of 
Florence  who  made  the  little  city  an  aesthetic  lawgiver 
to  the  world  and  with  whom  her  later  fame,  good  or  ill,  is 
indissolubly  united.     For  the  rest,  is  there  not  the  library  ? 

The  Medici,  once  so  powerful  and  stimulating,  are  still 
ever  in  the  background  of  Florence  as  one  wanders  hither 
and  thither.  They  are  behind  many  of  the  best  pictures  and 
most  of  the  best  statues.  Their  escutcheon  is  everywhere. 
I  ought,  I  believe,  to  have  made  them  the  subject  of  my 
first  chapter.  But  since  I  did  not,  let  us  without  further 
delay  turn  to  the  Via  Cavour,  which  runs  away  to  the  north 
from  the  Baptistery,  being  a  continuation  of  the  Via  de' 
Martelli,  and  pause  at  the  massive  and  dignified  palace  at 


the  first  corner  on  the  left.  For  that  is  the  Medici's  home ; 
and  afterwards  we  will  step  into  S.  Lorenzo  and  see  the 
church  which  Brunelleschi  and  Donatello  made  beautiful 
and  Michelangelo  wonderful  that  the  Medici  might  lie 

Visitors  go  to  the  Riccardi  palace  rather  to  see  Gozzoli's 
frescoes  than  anything  else;  and  indeed  apart  from  the 
noble  solid  Renaissance  architecture  of  Michelozzo  there  is 
not  much  else  to  see.  In  the  courtyard  are  certain  frag- 
ments of  antique  sculpture  arranged  against  the  walls,  and 
a  sarcophagus  is  shown  in  which  an  early  member  of  the 
family,  Guccio  de'  Medici,  who  was  gonfalonier  in  1299, 
once  reposed.  There  too  are  Donatello's  eight  medallions, 
but  they  are  not  very  interesting,  being  only  enlai'ged 
copies  of  old  medals  and  cameos  and  not  notable  for  his 
own  characteristics. 

Hence  it  is  that,  after  Gozzoli,  by  far  the  most  interest- 
ing pait  of  this  building  is  its  associations.  For  here  lived 
Cosimo  de'  Medici,  whose  building  of  the  palace  was  inter- 
rupted by  his  banishment  as  a  citizen  of  dangerous  ambition ; 
here  lived  Piero  de'  Medici,  for  whom  Gozzoli  worked ; 
here  was  born  and  here  lived  Lorenzo  the  Magnificent.  To 
this  palace  came  the  Pazzi  conspirators  to  lure  Giuliano  to 
the  Duomo  and  his  doom.  Here  did  Charles  VIII — Savona- 
rola's "Flagellum  Dei" — lodge  and  loot,  and  it  was  here 
that  Capponi  frightened  him  with  the  threat  of  the  Floren- 
tine bells;  hither  came  in  1494  the  fickle  and  terrible 
Florentine  mob,  always  passionate  in  its  pursuit  of  change 
and  excitement,  and  now  inflamed  by  the  sermons  of  Savona- 
rola, to  destroy  the  priceless  manuscripts  and  works  of  art ; 
here  was  brought  up  for  a  year  or  so  the  little  Catherine  de' 
Medici,  and  next  door  was  the  houss  in  which  Alessandro 
de'  Medici  wa;9  murdered. 


It  was  in  the  seventeenth  century  that  the  palace  passed 
to  the  Riccardi  family,  who  made  many  additions.  A 
century  later  Florence  acquired  it,  and  to-day  it  is  the  seat 
of  the  Prefect  of  the  city.  Cosimo's  original  building  was 
smaller ;  but  much  of  it  remains  untouched.  The  exquisite 
cornice  is  Michelozzo's  original,  and  the  courtyai;d  has 
merely  lost  its  statues,  among  which  are  Donatello's  Judith, 
now  in  the  Loggia  de'  Lanzi,  and  his  bronze  David,  now 
in .  the  Bargello,  while  Verrocchio's  David  was  probably 
on  the  stairs.  The  escutcheon  on  the  comer  of  the  house 
gives  us  the  period  of  its  erection.  The  seven  plain  balls 
proclaim  it  Cosimo's.  Each  of  the  Medici  sported  these 
palle,  although  each  had  also  his  private  crest.  Under 
Giovanni,  Cosimo's  father,  the  balls  were  eight  in  number ; 
under  Cosimo,  seven ;  imder  Piero,  seven,  with  the  fleur-de- 
lis  of  France  on  the  uppermost,  given  him  by  Louis  XI ; 
under  Lorenzo,  six ;  and  as  one  walks  about  Florence  one 
can  approximately  fix  the  date  of  a  building  by  remember- 
ing these  changes.  How  many  times  they  occur  on  the 
fa9ades  of  Florence  and  its  vicinity,  probably  no  one  could 
say;  but  they  are  everywhere.  The  French  wits,  who 
were  amused  to  derive  Catherine  de'  Medici  from  a  family 
of  apothecaries,  called  them  pills. 

The  beautiful  lantern  at  the  comer  was  added  by  Lorenzo 
and  was  the  work  of  an  odd  ironsmith  in  Florence  for  whom 
he  had  a  gi-eat  liking — Niccolo  Grosso.  For  Lorenzo  had 
all  that  delight  in  character  which  belongs  so  often  to  the 
bom  patron  and  usually  to  the  bom  connoisseur.  This 
Grosso  was  a  man  of  humorous  independence  and  bluntness. 
He  had  the  admirable  custom  of  carrying  out  his  commissions 
in  the  order  in  which  they  amved,  so  that  if  he  was  at 
work  upon  a  set  of  fire-irons  for  a  poor  client,  not  even 
Lorenzo  himself  (who  as  a  matter  of  fact  often  tried)  could 


induce  him  to  turn  to  something  more  lucrative.  The  rich 
who  cannot  wait  he  forced  to  wait.  Grosso  also  always 
insisted  upon  something  in  advance  and  payment  on  de- 
livery, and  pleasantly  described  his  workshop  as  being  the 
Sign  of  the  Burning  Books, — since  if  his  books  were  burnt 
how  could  he  enter  a  debt  ?  This  rule  earned  for  him  from 
Lorenzo  the  nickname  of  "  II  Capan-a  "  (earnest  money). 
Another  of  Grosso's  eccentricities  was  to  refuse  to  work 
for  Jews. 

Within  the  palace,  up  stairs,  is  the  little  chapel  which 
Gozzoli  made  so  gay  and  fascinating  that  it  is  probably 
the  very  gem  among  the  private  chapels  of  the  world. 
Here  not  only  did  the  Medici  perform  their  devotions — 
Lorenzo's  corner  seat  is  still  shown,  and  anyone  may  sit 
in  it — but  their  splendour  and  taste  are  reflected  on  the 
walls.  Cosimo,  as  we  shall  see  when  we  reach  S.  Marco, 
invited  Fra  Angelico  to  paint  upon  the  walls  of  that 
convent  sweet  and  simple  frescoes  to  the  glory  of  God. 
Piero  employed  Fra  Angelico's  pupil,  Benozzo  Gozzoli  to 
decorate  this  chapel. 

In  the  year  1439,  as  chapter  II  related,  through  the 
instrumentality  of  Cosimo  a  great  episcopal  Council  was 
held  at  Florence,  at  which  John  Palaeologus,  Emperor  of 
the  East,  met  Pope  Eugenius  IV.  In  that  year  Cosimo's 
son  Piero  was  twenty-three,  and  Gozzoli  nineteen,  and 
probably  upon  both,  but  certainly  on  the  young  artist,  such 
pomp  and  splendour  and  gorgeousness  of  costume  as  then 
were  visible  in  Florence  made  a  deep  impression.  When 
therefore  Piero,  after  becoming  head  of  the  family,  decided 
to  decorate  the  chapel  with  a  procession  of  Magi,  it  is  not 
surprising  that  the  painter  should  recall  this  historic  oc- 
casion. We  thus  get  the  pageantry  of  the  East  with  more 
than  common  realism,  while  the  portraits,  or  at  any  rate  re- 


presentations,  of  the  Patriarch  of  Constantinople  (the  first 

king)  and  the  Emperor  (the  second  king)  are  here,  together 

with  those  of  certain  Medici,  for  the  youthful  third  king  is 

none  other  than  Piero's  eldest  son  Lorenzo.     Among  their 

followers  are  (the  third  on  the  left)  Cosimo  de'  Medici, 

who  is  included  as  among  the  living,  although,  like  the 

Patriarch  of  Constantinople,  he  was  dead,  and  his  brother 

Lorenzo  (the  middle  one  of  the  three),  whose  existence  is 

forgotten  so  completely  until  the  accession  of  Cosimo  I, 

in  1537,  brings  his  branch  of  the  family  into  power ;  while 

on  the  right  is  Piero  de'  Medici  himself.     Piero's  second 

son  Giuliano  is  on  the  white  horse,  preceded  by  a  negro 

carrying  his  bow.     The  head  immediately  above  Giuliano 

I  do  not  know,  but  that  one  a  little  to  the  left  above  it  is 

Gozzoli's  own.     Among  the  throng  are  men  of  learning 

who  either  came  to  Florence  from  the  East  or  Florentines 

who    assimilated    their    philosophy — such    as     Georgius 

Gemisthos,  Marsilio  Ficino,  and  perhaps  certain  painters 

among  them,  all  proteges  of  Cosimo  and  Piero,  and  all 

makers  of  the  Renaissance. 

The  assemblage  alone,  apart  altogether  from  any  beauty 
and  charm  that  the  painting  possesses,  makes  these  frescoes 
valuable.  But  the  painting  is  a  delight.  We  have  a 
pretty  Gozzoli  in  our  National  Gallery — No.  283 — but 
it  gives  no  indication  of  the  ripeness  and  richness  and  inci- 
dent of  this  work ;  while  the  famous  Biblical  series  in  the 
Campo  Santo  of  Pisa  has  so  largely  perished  as  to  be  scarcely 
evidence  to  his  colour.  The  first  impression  made  by  the 
Medici  frescoes  is  their  sumptubusness.  When  Gozzoli 
painted — if  the  story  be  true — he  had  only  candle  light : 
the  window  over  the  altar  is  new.  But  think  of  candle 
light  being  all  the  illumination  of  these  walls  as  the 
painter  worked  !     A  new  door  and  window  have  also  been 


cut  in  the  wall  opposite  the  altar  close  to  the  three 
daughters  of  Piero,  by  vandal  hands ;  and  "  Brutto,  brutto ! " 
says  the  guardian,  very  rightly. 

The  landscape  behind  the  procession  is  hardly  less  in- 
teresting than  the  procession  itself;  but  it  is  when  we  come 
to  the  meadows  of  paradise,  with  the  angels  and  roses, 
the  cypresses  and  birds,  in  the  two  chancel  scenes,  that 
this  side  of  Gozzoli's  art  is  most  fascinating.  He  has 
travelled  a  long  way  from  his  master  Fra  Angelico  here : 
the  heaven  is  of  the  visible  rather  than  the  invisible  eye  ; 
sense  is  present  as  well  as  the  rapturous  spirit.  The  little 
Medici  who  endured  the  tedium  of  the  services  here  are 
to  be  felicitated  with  upon  such  an  adorable  presentment 
of  glory.  With  plenty  of  altar  candles  the  sight  of  these 
gardens  of  the  blest  must  have  beguiled  many  a  mass. 
Thinking  here  in  England  upon  the  Medici  chapel,  I  find 
that  the  impression  it  has  left  upon  me  is  chiefly  cypresses 
— cypresses  black  and  comely,  disposed  by  a  master  hand, 
with  a  glint  of  gold  among  them. 

The  picture  that  was  over  the  altar  has  gone.  It  was  a 
Lippo  Lippi  and  is  now  in  Berlin. 

The  first  of  the  Medici  family  to  rise  to  the  highest 
power  was  Giovanni  d'Averardo  de'  Medici  (known  as 
Giovanni  di  Bicci),  1360-1429,  who,  a  wealthy  banker 
living  in  what  is  now  the  Piazza  del  Duomo,  was  well 
known  for  his  philanthropy  and  interest  in  the  welfare'of 
the  Florentines,  but  does  not  come  much  into  public  notice 
until  14)01,  when  he  was  appointed  one  of  the  judges  in  the 
Baptistery  door  competition.  He  was  a  retiring,  watchful 
man.  Whether  he  was  personally  ambitious  is  not  too 
evident,  but  he  was  opposed  to  tyranny  and  was  the  steady 
foe  of  the  Albizzi  faction,  who  at  that  time  were  endea- 
vouiing  to  obtain  supreme  power  in  Florentine  alFaii-s.     In 


1419  Giovanni  increased  his  popularity  by  founding  the 
Spedale  degli  Innocenti,  and  in  1421  he  was  elected  gon- 
falonier, or,  as  we  might  now  say,  President  of  the  Republic. 
In  this  capacity  he  made  his  position  secure  and  reduced 
the  nobles  (chief  of  whom  was  Niccolo  da  Uzzano)  to 
political  weakness.  Giovanni  died  in  1429,  leaving  one 
son,  Cosimo,  aged  forty,  a  second,  Lorenzo,  aged  thirty- 
four,  a  fragrant  memory  and  an  immense  fortune. 

To  Lorenzo,  who  remained  a  private  citizen,  we  shall  re- 
turn in  time  ;  it  is  Cosimo  (1389-1464)  with  whom  we  are 
now  concerned.  Cosimo  de'  Medici  was  a  man  of  great 
mental  and  practical  ability :  he  had  been  educated  as  well 
as  possible  ;  he  had  a  passion  both  for  art  and  letters  ;  he 
inherited  his  father's  financial  ability  and  generosity,  while 
he  added  to  these  gifts  a  certain  genius  for  the  manage- 
ment of  men.  One  of  the  first  things  that  Cosimo  did 
after  his  father's  death  was  to  begin  the  palace  where  we 
now  are,  rejecting  a  plan  by  Brunelleschi  as  too  splendid, 
and  choosing  instead  one  by  Michelozzo,  the  partner  of 
Donatello,  two  artists  who  remained  his  personal  friends 
through  life.  Cosimo  selected  this  site,  in  what  was  then 
the  Via  Larga  but  is  now  the  Via  Cavour,  partly  because 
his  father  had  once  lived  there,  and  partly  because  it  was 
close  to  S.  Lorenzo,  which  his  father,  with  six  other  families, 
had  begun  to  rebuild,  a  work  he  intended  himself  to 
carry  on. 

The  palace  was  begun  in  1430  and  was  still  in  progress 
in  1433  when  the  Albizzi,  who  had  always  viewed  the  rise 
of  the  Medici  family  with  apprehension  and  misgiving,  and 
were  now  strengthened  by  the  death  of  Niccolo  da  Uzzano, 
who,  though  powerful,  had  been  a  very  cautious  and  temper- 
ate adviser,  succeeded  in  getting  a  majority  in  the  Signoria 
and  passing  a  sentence  of  banishment  on  the  whole  Medici 


tribe  as  being  too  rich  and  ambitious  to  be  good  citizens 
of  a  simple  and  frugal  Republic.  Cosimo  therefore,  after 
some  days  of  imprisonment  in  the  tower  of  the  Palazzo 
Vecchio,  during  which  he  expected  execution  at  any  moment, 
left  Florence  for  Venice,  taking  his  architect  with  him.  In 
1434,  however,  the  Florentines,  realizing  that  under  the 
Albizzi  they  were  losing  their  independence,  and  what  was 
to  be  a  democracy  was  become  an  oligarchy,  revolted,  and 
Cosimo  was  recalled,  and,  like  his  father,  was  elected  gonfal- 
onier. With  this  recall  began  his  long  supremacy;  for 
he  returned  like  a  king  and  like  a  king  remained,  quickly 
establishing  himself  as  the  leading  man  in  the  city,  the 
power  behind  the  Signorisu  Not  only  did  he  never  lose 
that  position,  but  he  made  it  so  naturally  his  own  that 
when  he  died  he  was  able  to  ti'ansmit  it  to  his  son. 

Cosimo  de'  Medici  was,  I  think,  the  wisest  and  best 
ruler  that  Florence  ever  had  and  i-anks  high  among  thfe 
rulers  that  any  state  ever  had.  But  he  changed  the  Flor- 
entines from  an  independent  people  to  a  dependent  one. 
In  his  capacity  of  Father  of  his  Counti-y  he  saw  to  it  that 
his  children  lost  their  proud  spirit.  He  had  to  be  abso- 
lute ;  and  this  end  he  achieved  in  many  ways,  but  chiefly 
by  his  wealth,  which  made  it  possible  to  break  the  rich 
rebel  and  to  enslave  the  poor.  His  greatest  asset — next 
his  wealth — was  his  knowledge  of  the  Florentine  character. 
To  know  anything  of  this  capricious,  fickle,  turbulent  folk 
even  after  the  event  was  in  itself  a  task  of  such  magnitude 
that  almost  no  one  else  had  compassed  it ;  but  Cosimo  did 
more,  he  knew  what  they  were  likely  to  do.  By  this 
knowledge,  together  with  his  riches,  his  craft,  his  tact,  his 
business  ramifications  as  an  international  banker,  his  open- 
handedness  and  air  of  personal  simplicity,  Cosimo  made 
himself  a  power. 


For  Florence  could  he  not  do  enough;  By  inviting  the 
Pope  and  the  Greek  Emperor  to  meet  there  he  gave  it 
gi-eat  political  importance,  and  incidentally  brought  about 
the  New  Learning.  He  established  the  Platonic  Academy 
and  formed  the  fii"st  public  library  in  the  west.  He  rebuilt 
and  endowed  the  monastery  of  S.  Marco.  He  built  and 
rebuilt  other  churches.  He  gave  Donatello  a  free  hand  in 
sculpture  and  Fra  Lippo  Lippi  and  Fra  Angelico  in  painting. 
He  distributed  altogether  in  chai'ity  and  churches  four  hun- 
dred thousand  of  those  golden  coins  which  were  invented  by 
Florence  and  named  florins  after  her — a  sum  equal  to  a 
million  pounds  of  to-day.  In  every  direction  one  comes 
upon  traces  of  his  generosity  and  thoroughness.  After  his 
death  it  was  decided  that  as  Pater  Patriae,  or  Father  of 
his  Country,  he  should  be  for  ever  known. 

Cosimo  died  in  1464,  leaving  an  invalid  son,  Piero,  aged 
forty-eight,  known  for  his  almost  continuous  gout  as 
II  Gottoso.  Giovanni  and  Cosimo  had  had  to  work  for 
their  power;  Piero  stepped  naturally  into  it,  although 
almost  immediately  he  had  to  deal  with  a  plot — the  first 
for  thirty  years — to  ruin  the  Medici  prestige,  the  leader  of 
which  was  thatLuca  Pitti  who  began  thePitti  palace  in  order 
to  have  a  better  house  than  the  Medici.  The  plot  failed, 
not  a  little  owing  to  young  Lorenzo  de'  Medici's  address, 
and  the  remaining  few  years  of  Piero's  life  were  tranquil. 
He  was  a  quiet,  kindly  man  with  the  traditional  family 
love  of  the  arts,  and  it  was  for  him  that  Gozzoli  worked. 
He  died  in  1469,  leaving  two  sons,  Lorenzo  (1449-1492) 
and  Giuliano  (1453-1478). 

Lorenzo  had  been  brought  up  as  the  future  leading  citi- 
zen of  Florence  :  he  had  every  advantage  of  education  and 
environment,  and  was  rich  in  the  aristocratic  spirit  which 
often  blossoms  most  richly  in  the  second  or  third  generation 


of  wealthy  business  families.  Giovanni  had  been  a  banker 
before  eveiything,  Cosimo  an  administrator,  Piero  a  faith- 
ful inheritor  of  his  father's  wishes ;  it  was  left  for  Lorenzo 
to  be  the  first  poet  and  natural  prince  of  the  Medici  blood. 
Lorenzo  continued  to  bank  but  mismanaged  the  work  and 
lost  heavily ;  while  his  poetical  tendencies  no  doubt  dis- 
tracted his  attention  generally  from  affairs.  Yet  such  was 
his  sympathetic  understanding  and  his  native  splendour  and 
gift  of  leadership  that  he  could  not  but  be  at  the  head  of 
everything,  the  first  to  be  consulted  and  ingratiated.  Not 
only  was  he  the  first  Medici  poet  but  the  first  of  the 
family  to  marry  not  for  love  but  for  policy,  and  that  too 
was  a  sign  of  decadence. 

Lorenzo  came  into  power  when  only  twenty,  and  at  the 
age  of  forty-two  he  was  dead,  but  in  the  interval,  by  his 
interest  in  eveiy  kind  of  intellectual  and  artistic  activity, 
by  his  passion  for  the  greatness  and  glory  of  Florence,  he 
made  for  himself  a  name  that  must  always  connote  liber- 
ality, splendour,  and  enlightenment.  But  it  is  beyond 
question  that  under  Lorenzo  the  Florentines  changed 
deeply  and  for  the  worse.  The  old  thrift  and  simplicity 
gave  way  to  extravagance  and  ostentation ;  the  old  faith 
gave  way  too,  but  that  was  not  wholly  the  effect  of  Lorenzo's 
natural  inclination  towards  Platonic  phildsophy,  fostered 
by  his  tutor  Marsilio  Ficino  and  his  friends  Poliziano  and 
Pico  della  Mirandola,  but  was  due  in  no  small  measure  also 
to  the  hostility  of  Pope  Sixtus,  which  culminated  in  the 
Pazzi  Conspiracy  of  1478  and  the  murder  of  Giuliano. 
Looking  at  the  history  of  Florence  from  our  present 
vantage-point  we  can  see  that  although  under  Lorenzo  the 
Magnificent  she  was  the  centre  of  the  world's  culture  and 
distinction,  there  was  behind  this  dazzling  front  no  serious- 
ness of  purpose.     She  was  in  short  enjoying  the  fruits  of 

IJ.OKING    ALdNi;    THE    VIA    CALZAllllI    FROM     IHL    1:  Al'J  Ibl  EKV, 
SHOWING    THE     BIC.AI.EO    AM'     IHE     TOE     OE     OK     SA\      MICHEEE 


her  labours  as  though  the  time  of  rest  had  come ;  and  this 
when  sti'enuousness  was  more  than  ever  important.  Lorenzo 
carried  on  eveiy  good  work  of  his  father  and  grandfather 
(he  spent  £65,000  a  year  in  books  alone)  and  was  as  jealous 
of  Florentine  interests ;  but  he  was  also  "  The  Magnificent," 
and  in  that  lay  the  peril.  Florence  could  do  with  wealth 
and  power,  but  magnificence  went  to  her  head. 

Lorenzo  died  in  1492,  leaving  three  sons,  of  whom  the 
eldest,  Piero  (1471-1503),  succeeded  him.  Never  was  such 
a  decadence.  In  a  moment  the  Medici  prestige,  which 
had  been  steadily  growing  under  Cosimo,  Piero,  and  Lorenzo 
until  it  was  world  famous,  crumbled  to  dust.  Piero  was  a 
coai-se-minded,  pleasure-loving  youth — "  The  Headstrong  " 
his  father  had  called  him — whose  one  idea  of  power  was  to 
be  sensual  and  tyrannical;  and  the  enemies  of  Florence 
and  of  Italy  took  advantage  of  this  fact.  Savonarola's 
sennons  had  paved  the  way  from  within  too.  In  1494 
Charles  VIII  of  France  marched  into  Italy ;  Piero  pulled 
himself  together  and  visited  the  king  to  make  terms  for 
Florence,  but  made  such  terms  that  on  returning  to  the 
city  he  found  an  order  of  banishment  and  obeyed  it.  On 
November  9th,  1494,  he  and  his  family  were  expelled, 
and  the  mob,  forgetting  so  quickly  all  that  they  owed  to 
the  Medici  who  had  gone  before,  rushed  to  this  beautiful 
palace  and  looted  it.  The  losses  that  &vt  and  learning 
sustained  in  a  few  hours  can  never  be  estimated.  A  certain 
number  of  treasures  were  subsequently  collected  again, 
such  as  Donatello's  David  and  Verrocchio's  David,  while 
Donatello's  Judith  was  removed  to  the  Palazzo  Vecchio, 
where  an  inscription  was  placed  upon  it  saying  that  her 
short  way  with  Holofemes  was  a  warning  to  all  traitors ; 
but  priceless  pictures,  sculpture,  and  MSS.  were  ruthlessly 


In  the  chapter  on  S.  Marco  we  shall  read  of  what  experi- 
ments in  government  the  Florentines  substituted  for  that 
of  the  Medici,  Savonai-ola  for  a  while  being  at  the  head 
of  the  government,  although  only  for  a  brief  period  which 
ended  amid  an  orgy  of  lawlessness ;  and  then,  after  a  restless 
period  of  eighteen  years,  in  which  Florence  had  every  claw 
cut  and  was  weakened  also  by  dissension, the  Medici  returned 
— the  change  being  the  work  of  Lorenzo's  second  son,  Gio- 
vanni de'  Medici,  who  on  the  eve  of  becoming  Pope  Leo  X 
procured  their  reinstatement,  thus  justifying  the  wisdom 
of  his  father  in  placing  him  in  the  Church.  Piero  having 
been  drowned  long  since,  his  admirable  but  ill-starred 
brother  Giuliano,  Duke  of  Nemours,  now  thirty-three,  as- 
sumed the  control,  always  under  Leo  X ;  while  their  cousin, 
Giulio,  also  a  Churchman,  and  the  natural  son  of  the 
murdered  Giuliano,  was  busy,  behind  the  scenes,  with  the 
family  fortunes. 

Giuliano  lived  only  till  1516  and  was  succeeded  by 
his  nephew  Lorenzo,  Duke  of  Urbino,  a  son  of  Piero, 
a  young  man  of  no  more  political  use  than  his  father, 
and  one  who  quickly  became  almost  equally  unpopular. 
Things  indeed  were  going  so  badly  that  Leo  X  sent  Giulio 
de'  Medici  (now  a  cardinal)  from  Rome  to  straighten  them 
out,  and  by  some  sensible  repeals  he  succeeded  in  allaying 
a  little  of  the  bitterness  in  the  city.  Lorenzo  had  one 
daughter,  bom  in  this  palace,  who  was  destined  to  make  his- 
tory— Catherine  de'  Medici — and  no  son.  When  therefore 
he  died  in  1519,  at  the  age  of  twenty-seven,  after  a  life 
of  vicious  selfishness  (which,  however,  was  no  bar  to  his 
having  the  noblest  tomb  in  the  world,  at  S.  Lorenzo),  the 
succession  should  have  passed  to  the  other  branch  of 
the  Medici  family,  the  descendants  of  old  Giovanni's  second 
son  Lorenzo,  brother  of  Cosimo.     But  Giulio,  at  Rome, 


always  at  the  ear  of  the  indolent,  pleasure-loving  Leo  X, 
had  other  projects.  Bom  in  1478,  the  illegitimate  son 
of  a  charming  father,  Giulio  had  none  of  the  great  Medici 
traditions,  and  the  Medici  name  never  stood  so  low  as 
during  his  period  of  power.  Himself  illegitimate,  he  was 
the  father  of  an  illegitimate  son,  Alessandro,  for  whose 
advancement  he  toiled  much  as  Alexander  VI  had  toiled  for 
that  of  Caesar  Borgia.  He  had  not  the  black,  bold  wicked- 
ness of  Alexander  VI,  but  as  Pope  Clement  VII,  which  he 
became  in  1523,  he  was  little  less  admirable.  He  was 
cunning,  ambitious,  and  tyrannical,  and  during  his  ponti- 
ficate he  contrived  not  only  to  make  many  powerful  enemies 
and  to  see  both  Rome  and  Florence  under  siege,  but  to  lose 
England  for  the  Church. 

We  move,  however,  too  fast.  The  year  is  1519  and 
Lorenzo  is  dead,  and  the  rightful  heir  to  the  Medici  wealth 
and  power  was  to  be  kept  out.  To  do  this  Giulio  himself 
moved  to  Florence  and  settled  in  the  Medici  palace,  and 
on  his  return  to  Rome  Cardinal  Passerini  was  installed  in 
the  Medici  palace  in  his  stead,  nominally  as  the  custodian 
of  little  Catherine  de'  Medici  and  Ippolito,  a  boy  of  ten, 
the  illegitimate  son  of  Giuliano,  Duke  of  Nemours.  That 
Florence  should  have  put  up  with  this  Roman  control 
shows  us  how  enfeebled  was  her  once  proud  spirit.  In  1521 
Leo  X  died,  to  be  succeeded,  in  spite  of  all  Giulio's  efforts, 
by  Adrian  of  Utrecht,  as  Adrian  VI,  a  good,  sincere  man 
who,  had  he  lived,  might  have  enormously  changed  the 
course  not  only  of  Italian  but  of  English  history.  He 
survived,  however,  for  less  than  two  years,  and  then  came 
Giulio's  chance,  and  he  was  elected  Pope  Clement  VII. 

Clement's  first  duty  was  to  make  Florence  secure,  and 
he  therefore  sent  his  son  Alessandro,  then  about  thirteen, 
to  join  the  others  at  the  Medici  palace,  which  thus  now 


contained  a  resident  cardinal,  watchful  of  Medici  interests ; 
a  legitimate  daughter  of  Lorenzo,  Duke  of  Urbino  (but 
owing  to  quarrels  she  was  removed  to  a  convent) ;  an  ille- 
gitimate son  of  Giuliano,  Duke  of  Nemours,  the  nominal 
heir  and  already  a  member  of  the  Government ;  and  the 
Pope's  illegitimate  son,  of  whose  origin,  however,  nothing 
was  said,  although  it  was  implied  that  Lorenzo,  Duke  of 
Nemours,  was  his  father. 

This  was  the  state  of  affairs  during  Clement's  war  with 
the  Emperor  Charles  V,^  which  ended  with  the  siege  of 
Rome  and  the  imprisonment  of  the  Pope  in  the  Castle  of 
S.  Angelo  for  some  months  until  he  contrived  to  escape 
to  Orvieto  ;  and  meanwhile  Florence,  realizing  his  power- 
lessness,  uttered  a  decree  again  banishing  the  Medici  family, 
and  in  1527  they  wei-e  sent  forth  from  the  city  for  the 
third  time.  But  even  now,  when  the  move  was  so  safe, 
Florence  lacked  courage  to  cany  it  out  until  a  member  of 
the  Medici  family,  furious  at  the  presence  of  the  base-born 
Medici  in  the  palace,  and  a  professed  hater  of  her  base- 
born  uncle  Clement  VII  and  all  his  ways — Clarice  Strozzi, 
nee  Clarice  de'  Medici,  granddaughter  of  Lorenzo  the 
Magnificent — came  herself  to  this  house  and  drove  the 
usurpers  from  it  with  her  extremely  capable  tongue. 

To  explain  cleai'ly  the  position  of  the  Florentine  Republic 
at  this  time  would  be  too  deeply  to  delve  into  history, 
but  it  may  briefly  be  said  that  by  means  of  humiliating 
surrenders  and  much  crafty  diplomacy,  Clement  VII  was 
able  to  bring  about  in  1629  peace  between  the  Emperor 
Charles  V  and  Francis  I  of  France,  by  which  Charles  was 
left  master  of  Italy,  while  his  partner  and  ally  in  these 
transactions,  Clement,  expected  for  his  own  share  certain 

'  It  was  Charles  V  who  said  of  Giotto's  Campanile  that  it  ought  to  be 
kept  in  a  glass  case. 


benefits  in  which  the  humiliation  of  Florence  and  the  ex- 
altation of  Alessandro  came  first.  Florence,  having  taken 
sides  with  Francis,  found  herself  in  any  case  very  badly 
left,  with  the  result  that  at  the  end  of  1529  Charles  V's 
army,  with  the  papal  forces  to  assist,  laid  siege  to  her. 
The  siege  lasted  for  ten  months,  in  which  the  city  was 
most  ably  defended  by  Ferrucci,  that  gallant  soldier  whose 
portrait  by  Piero  di  Cosimo  is  in  our  National  Gallery—^ 
No.  895 — and  then  came  a  decisive  battle  in  which  the 
Emperor  and  Pope  were  conquerors,  a  thousand  brave 
Florentines  were  put  to  death  and  others  were  imprisoned. 

Alessandro  de'  Medici  arrived  at  the  Medici  palace  in 
1531,  and  in  1532  the  glorious  Florentine  Republic  of  so 
many  years'  growth,  for  the  establishment  of  which  so  much 
good  blood  had  been  spilt,  was  declared  to  be  at  an  end. 
Alessandro  being  proclaimed  Duke,  his  first  act  was  to 
order  the  demolition  of  the  great  bell  of  the  Signoria  which 
had  so  often  called  the  citizens  to  arms  or  meetings  of 

Meanwhile  IppoUto,  the  natural  son  of  Giuliano,  Duke 
of  Nemours,  and  therefore  the  rightful  heir,  after  having 
been  sent  on  various  missions  by  Clement  VII,  to  keep  him 
out  of  the  way,  settled  at  Bologna  and  took  to  poetry.  He 
was  a  kindly,  melancholy  man  with  a  deep  sense  of  human 
injustice;  and  in  1535,  when,  after  Clement  VII's  very 
welcome  demise,  the  Florentine  exiles  who  either  had  been 
banished  from  Florence  by  Alessandro  or  had  left  of  their 
own  volition  rather  than  live  in  the  city  under  such 
a  contemptible  ruler,  sent  an  embassy  to  the  Emperor 
Charles  V  to  help  them  against  this  new  tyrant,  Ippolito 
headed  it ;  but  Alessandro  prudently  arranged  for  his  as- 
sassination en  route.  = 

It  is  unlikely,  however,  that  the  Emperor  would  have 



done  anything,  for  in  the  following  year  he  allowed  his 
daughter  Margaret  to  become  Alessandro's  wife.  That 
was  in  1536.  In  January,  1537,  Lorenzino  de'  Medici,  a 
cousin,  one  of  the  younger  branch  of  the  family,  assuming 
the  mantle  of  Bi-utus,  or  liberator,  stabbed  Alessandro  to 
death  while  he  was  keeping  an  assignation  in  the  house  that 
then  adjoined  this  palace.  Thus  died,  at  the  age  of  twenty- 
six,  one  of  the  most  worthless  of  men,  and,  although  illegiti- 
mate, the  last  of  the  direct  hne  of  Cosimo  de'  Medici,  the 
Father  of  his  Country,  to  govern  Florence. 

The  next  ruler  came  from  the  younger  branch,  to  which 
we  now  turn.  Old  Giovanni  di  Bicci  had  two  sons,  Cosimo 
and  Lorenzo.  Lorenzo's  son.  Pier  Fi'ancesco  de'  Medici, 
had  a  son  Giovanni  de'  Medici.  This  Giovanni,  who 
married  Caterina  Sforza  of  MUan,  had  also  a  son  named 
Giovanni,  born  in  1498,  and  it  was  he  who  was  the  rightful 
heir  when  Lorenzo,  Duke  of  Urbino,  died  in  1519.  He  was 
connected  with  both  sides  of  the  family,  for  his  father,  as 
I  have  said,  was  the  great  gi-andson  of  the  first  Medici  on 
om-  list,  and  his  wife  was  Maria  Salviati,  daughter  of  Luc- 
rezia  de'  Medici — herself  a  daughter  of  Lorenzo  the  Mag- 
nificent— and  Jacopo  Salviati,  a  wealthy  Florentine.  When, 
however,  Lorenzo,  Duke  of  Urbino,  died  in  1519,  Giovanni 
was  a  young  man  of  twenty-one  with  an  absorbing  passion 
for  fighting,  which  Clement  VII  (then  Giulio)  was  only  too 
keen  to  foster,  since  he  wished  him  out  of  the  way  in  order 
that  his  own  projects  for  the  ultimate  advancement  of  the 
base-born  Alessandro,  and  meanwhile  of  the  catspaw,  the 
base-born  Ippolito,  might  be  farthered.  Giovanni  had  al- 
ready done  some  good  service  in  the  field,  was  becoming 
famous  as  the  head  of  his  company  of  Black  Bandf;,  and  was 
known  as  Giovanni  delle  Bande  Nere ;  and  his  maiTiage  to 
his  cousin  Maria  Salviati  and  the  birth  of  his  only  son 


Cosimo  in  1519  made  no  difference  to  his  delight  in  war- 
fare. He  was  happy  only  when  in  the  field  of  battle,  and 
the  struggle  between  Francis  and  Chai'les  gave  him  ample 
opportunities,  fighting  on  the  side  of  Charles  and  the  Pope 
and  doing  many  brave  and  dashing  things.  He  died  at  an 
early  age,  only  twenty-eight,  in  1626,  the  idol  of  his  men, 
leaving  a  widow  and  child  in  poverty. 

Almost  immediately  afterwards  came  the  third  banish- 
ment of  the  Medici  family  fi'om  Florence.  Giovanni's 
widow  and  their  son  Cosimo  got  along  as  best  they  could 
until  the  murder  of  Alessandro  in  1537,  when  Cosimo  was 
nearing  eighteen.  He  was  a  quiet,  reserved  youth,  who  had 
apparently  taken  but  little  interest  in  public  affau-s,  and  had 
spent  his  time  in  the  country  with  his  mother,  chiefly  in 
field  sports.  But  no  sooner  was  Alessandro  dead,  and  his 
slayer  Lorenzino  had  escaped,  than  Cosimo  approached  the 
Florentine  council  and  claimed  to  be  appointed  to  his 
rightful  place  as  head  of  the  State,  and  this  claim  he  put, 
or  suggested,  with  so  much  humility  that  his  wish  was 
granted.  Instantly  one  of  the  most  remarkable  transitions 
in  history  occurred :  the  youth  grew  up  almost  in  a  day 
and  at  once  began  to  exert  unsuspected  reserves  of  power 
and  authority.  In  despair  a  number  of  the  chief 
Florentines  made  an  effort  to  depose  him,  and  a  battle 
was  fought  at  Montemurlo,  a  few  miles  from  Florence, 
between  Cosimo's  troops  and  the  insurgents.  That  was 
in  1537 ;  the  victory  fell  to  Cosimo ;  and  his  long  and 
remarkable  reign  began  with  the  imprisonment  and  exe- 
cution of  the  chief  rebels. 

Although  Cosimo  made  so  bloody  a  beginning  he  was 
the  first  imaginative  and  thoughtful  administrator  that 
Florence  had  had  since  Lorenzo  the  Magnificent.  He  set 
himself  grimly  to  build  upon  the  ruins  which  the  past  forty 


and  more  years  had  produced  ;  and  by  the  end  of  his  reign 
he  had  worked  wonders.  As  first  he  lived  in  the  Medici 
palace,  but  after  marrying  a  wealthy  wife,  Eleanora  of 
Toledo,  he  transferred  his  home  to  the  Signoria,  now  called 
the  Palazzo  Vecchio,  as  a  safer  spot,  and  established  a 
bodyguard  of  Swiss  lancers  in  Orcagna's  loggia,  close  by.^ 
Later  he  bought  the  unfinished  Pitti  palace  with  his  wife's 
money,  finished  it,  and  moved  there.  Meanwhile  he  was 
strengthening  his  position  in  every  way  by  alliances  and 
treaties,  and  also  by  the  convenient  murder  of  Lorenzino, 
the  Brutus  who  had  rid  Florence  of  Alessandro  ten  years 
earlier,  and  whose  presence  in  the  flesh  could  not  but  be  a 
cause  bf  anxiety  since  Lorenzino  derived  from  an  elder 
son  of  the  Medici,  and  Cosimo  from  a  younger.  In  1555 
the  ancient  republic  of  Siena  fell  to  Cosimo's  troops  after 
a  cruel  and  barbarous  siege  and  was  thereafter  merged  in 
Tuscany,  and  in  1570  Cosimo  assumed  the  title  of  Cosimo  I, 
Grand  Duke  of  Tuscany,  and  was  crowned  at  Rome. 

Whether  or  not  the  common  accusation  against  the 
Medici  as  a  family,  that  they  had  but  one  motive — mercenary 
ambition  and  self-aggrandisement — is  true,  the  fact  remains 
that  the  crown  did  not  reach  their  brows  until  one  hundred 
and  seventy  years  from  the  first  appearance  of  old  Giovanni 
di  Bicci  in  Florentine  affairs.  The  statue  of  Cosimo  I  in 
the  Piazza  della  Signoria  has  a  bas-relief  of  his  coronation. 
He  was  then  fifty-one  ;  he  lived  but  four  more  years,  and 
when  he  died  he  left  a  dukedom  flouiishing  in  every  way : 
rich,  powerful,  busy,  and  enlightened.  He  had  developed 
and  encouraged  the  arts,  capriciously,  as  Cellini's  "  Auto- 
biography "  tells  us,  but  genuinely  too,  as  we  can  see  at 
the  Uffizi  and  the  Pitti.  The  arts,  however,  were  not  what 
they  had  been,  for  the  great  period  had  passed  and  Florence 
was  in  the  trough  of  the  wave.  Yet  Cosimo  found  the  best 
'  Hence  its  new  name :  Loggia  de'  Lanzi. 


men  he  could — Cellini,  Bronzino,  and  Vasari — and  kept  them 
busy.  But  his  greatest  achievement  as  a  connoisseur  was 
his  interest  in  Etruscan  remains  and  the  excavations  at 
Arezzo  and  elsewhere  which  yielded  the  priceless  relics  now 
at  the  Archaeological  Museum. 

With  Cosimo  I  this  swift  reviiew  of  the  Medici  family 
ends.  The  rest  have  little  interest  for  the  visitor  to  Flor- 
ence to-day,  for  whom  Cellini's  Perseus,  made  to  Cosimo  I's 
order,  is  the  last  great  artistic  achievement  in  the  city  in 
point  of  time.  But  I  may  say  that  Cosimo  I's  direct  de- 
scendants occupied  the  throne  (as  it  had  now  become)  until 
the  death  of  Gian  Gastone,  son  of  Cosimo  III,  who  died  in 
1737.  Tuscany  passed  to  Austria  until  1801.  In  1807  it 
became  French,  and  in  1814  Austrian  again.  In  1860  it 
was  merged  in  the  Kingdom  of  Italy  under  the  rule  of  the 
monarch  who  has  given  his  name  to  the  great  new  Piazza 
— Vittorio  Emmanuele. 

After  Gian  Gastone's  death  one  other  Medici  remained 
alive  :  Anna  Maria  Ludovica,  daughter  of  Cosimo  III. 
Bom  in  1667,  she  married  the  Elector  Palatine  of  the  Rhine, 
and  sui-vived  until  1743.  It  was  she  who  left  to  the  city 
the  priceless  Medici  collections,  as  I  have  stated  in  chapter 
VIII.  The  earlier  and  greatest  of  the  Medici  are  buried 
in  the  church  of  S.  Lorenzo  or  in  Michelangelo's  sacristy ; 
the  later  Medici,  beginning  with  Giovanni  delle  Bande 
Nere  and  his  wife,  and  their  son  Cosimo  I,  are  in  the  gorgeous 
mausoleum  that  adjoins  S.  Lorenzo  and  is  still  being  en- 
riched with  precious  marbles. 

Such  is  an  outline  of  the  history  of  this  wonderful  family, 
and  we  leave  their  ancient  home,  built  by  the  greatest  and 
wisest  of  them,  with  mixed  feelings  of  admiration  and  pity. 
They  were  seldom  lovable ;  they  were  often  despicable ; 
but  where  they  were  great  they  were  very  great  indeed. 


A  Latin  inscription  in  the  courtyard  reminds  the  traveller 
of  the  distinction  which  the  house  possesses,  calling  it  the 
home  not  only  of  princes  but  of  knowledge  herself  and  a 
treasury  of  the  arts.  But  Florence,  although  it  bought 
the  palace  fi'om  the  Riccardi  family  a  century  and  more 
ago,  has  never  cared  to  give  it  back  its  rightful  name. 



A  forlorn  fa5ade — ^The  church  of  the  Medici — Cosimo's  parents'  tomb 
— Donatello's  cantoria  and  pulpits — Brunelleschi's  sacristy  -  Donatello 
again — The  palace  of  the  dead  Grand  Dukes — Costly  intarsia — Michel- 
angelo's sacristy — A  weary  Titan's  life — The  victim  of  capricious 
pontiffs — The  Medici  tombs — Mementi  mori — The  Casa  Buonarroti — 
Brunelleschi's  cloisters — A  model  library. 

ARCHITECTURALLY  S.  Lorenzo  does  not  attract  as 
S.  Croce  and  S.  Maiia  Novella  do  ;  but  certain  trea- 
sures of  sculpture  make  it  unique.  Yet  it  is  a  cool  scene 
of  noble  gi'ey  arches,  and  the  ceiling  is  very  happily  picked 
out  with  gold  and  colour.  Savonarola  preached  some  of 
his  most  important  sermons  here ;  here  Lorenzo  the  Magni- 
ficent was  married. 

The  fa9adehas  never  yet  been  finished  :  it  is  just  ragged 
brickwork  waiting  for  its  marble,  and  likely  to  wait,  al- 
though such  expenditure  on  marble  is  going  on  within  a 
few  yards  of  it  as  makes  one  gasp.  Not  very  far  away, 
in  the  Via  Ghibellina,  is  a  house  which  contains  some  rough 
plans  by  a  master  hand  for  this  facade,  drawn  some  four 
hundred  years  ago — the  hand  of  none  other  than  Michel- 
angelo, whose  scheme  was  to  make  it  not  only  a  wonder  of 
architecture  but  a  wonder  also  of  statuai'y,  the  fa9ade  hav- 
ing many  niches,  each  to  be  filled  with  a  sacred  figure.  But 
Michelangelo  always  dreamed  on  a  scale  uttei'ly  dispropor- 



tionate  to  the  foolish  little  span  of  life  Allotted  to  us,  and 
the  S.  Lorenzo  fagade  was  never  even  begun. 

The  piazza  which  these  untidy  bricks  overlook  is  now 
given  up  to  stajls  and  is  the  centre  of  the  cheap  clothing 
district.  Looking  diagonally  across  it  from  the  chui-ch  one 
sees  the  great  walls  of  the  courtyard  of  what  is  now  the 
Riccardi  palace,  but  was  in  the  great  days  the  Medici 
palace  ;  and  at  the  corner,  facing  the  Borgo  S.  Lorenzo,  is 
Giovanni  delle  Bande  Nere,  in  stone,  by  the  impossible 
Bandinelli,  looking  at  least  twenty  years  older  than  he  ever 
lived  to  be. 

S.  Lorenzo  was  a  very  old  church  in  the  time  of  Giovanni 
de'  Medici,  the  first  great  man  of  the  family,  and  had 
already  been  restored  once,  in  the  eleventh  century,  but  it 
was  his  favourite  church,  chosen  by  him  for  his  own  resting- 
place,  and  he  spent  great  sums  in  improving  it.  All  this 
with  the  assistance  of  Brunelleschi,  who  is  responsible 
for  the  interior  as  we  now  see  it,  and  would,  had  he  lived, 
have  completed  the  fagade.  After  Giovanni  came  Cosimo, 
who  also  devoted  gi'eat  sums  to  the  glory  of  this  church, 
not  only  assisting  Brunelleschi  with  his  work  but  inducing 
Donatello  to  lavish  his  genius  upon  it ;  and  the  church  was 
thus  established  as  the  family  vault  of  the  Medici  race. 
Giovanni  lies  here ;  Cosimo  lies  here ;  and  Piero ;  while 
Lorenzo  the  Magnificent  and  Giuliano  and  certain  descen- 
dants were  buried  in  the  Michelangelo  sacristy,  and  all  the 
Grand  Dukes  in  the  ostentatious  diapel  behind  the  altar. 

Cosimo  is  buried  beneath  the  floor  in  front  of  the  high 
altar,  in  obedience  to  his  wish,  and  by  the  special  peimis- 
sion  of  the  Roman  Chmch  ;  and  in  the  same  vault  lies 
Donatello.  Cosimo,  who  was  buried  with  all  simplicity  on 
August  22nd,  1464,  in  his  last  illness  recommended  Dona- 
tello, who  was  then  seventy-eight,  to  his  son  Piero.    The  old 

CHRIST    A\D    S.    THOMAS 

HV  \'j-:ki^(jLc;H(i.i 

(  />t  .1  Huh:  I'v  D.'nalello  and  Micht/oz-zo  in  the  ivall  oj  Or  \,i a  Mu-h.:t 


sculptor  survived  his  illustrious  patron  and  friend  only  two 
and  a  half  years,  declining  gently  into  the  grave,  and  his 
body  was  brought  here  in  December,  1466.  A  monument 
to  his  memory  was  erected  in  the  church  in  1896.  Piero 
(the  Gouty),  who  survived  until  1469,  lies  close  by,  his 
bronze  monument,  with  that  of  his  brother,  being  that 
between  the  sacristy  and  the  adjoining  chapel,  in  an  im- 
posing porphyry  and  bronze  casket,  the  work  of  Veri'occhio, 
one  of  the  richest  and  most  impressive  of  all  the  memorial 
scidptures  of  the  Renaissance.  The  marble  pediment  is 
supported  by  four  tortoises,  such  as  support  the  monoliths 
in  the  Piazza  S.  Maria  Novella.  The  iron  rope  work  that 
divides  the  sacristy  from  the  chapel  is  a  marvel  of  work- 

But  we  go  too  fast :  the  church  before  the  sacristy,  and 
the  glories  of  the  church  are  Donatello's.  We  have  seen 
his  cantoria  in  the  Museum  of  the  Cathedral.  Here  is 
another,  not  so  riotous  and  jocund  in  spirit,  but  in  its  own 
way  hardly  less  satisfjdng.  The  Museum  cantoria  has  the 
wondeiful  frieze  of  dancing  figures ;  this  is  an  exercise  in 
mai'ble  intai'sia.  It  has  the  same  row  of  pillars  with  little 
specks  of  mosaic  gold ;  but  its  beauty  is  that  of  delicate 
proportions  and  soft  tones.  The  cantoria  is  in  the  left 
aisle,  in  its  original  place ;  the  two  bronze  pulpits  are  in  the 
nave.  These  have  a  double  interest  as  being  not  only 
Donatello's  work  but  his  latest  work.  They  were  incom- 
plete at  his  death,  and  were  finished  by  his  pupil  Bertoldo 
(1410-1491),  and  since,  as  we  shall  see,  Bertoldo  became 
the  master  of  Michelangelo,  when  he  was  a  lad  of  fifteen 
and  Bertoldo  an  old  man  of  eighty,  these  pulpits  may  be 
said  to  form  a  link  between  the  two  great  S.  Lorenzo 
sculptors.  How  fine  and  free  and  spirited  Bertoldo  could 
be,  alone,  we  shall  see  at  the  Bargello.     The  S.  Lorenzo 


pulpits  ai'e  very  difficult  to  study :  nothing  wants  a 
stronger  light  than  a  bronze  relief,  and  in  Florence  students 
of  bronze  reliefs  ai'e  accustomed  to  it,  since  the  most 
famous  of  all — the  Ghiberti  doors — are  in  the  open  air. 
Only  in  course  of  time  can  one  discern  the  scenes  here. 
The  left  pulpit  is  the  finer,  for  it  contains  the  "  Ci'ucifixion  " 
and  the  "  Deposition,"  which  to  me  form  the  most  striking 
of  the  panels. 

The  other  piece  of  sculpture  in  the  church  itself  is  a 
ciborium  by  Desiderio  da  Settignano,  in  the  chapel  at  the 
end  of  the  right  transept — an  exquisite  work  by  this  rare 
and  playful  and  distinguished  hand.  It  is  fitting  that 
Desiderio  should  be  here,  for  he  was  Donatello's  favourite 
pupil.  The  S.  Lorenzo  ciborium  is  wholly  charming,  al- 
though there  is  a  "  Deposition  "  upon  it ;  the  little  Boy  is 
adorable ;  but  one  sees  it  with  the  greatest  difficulty  owing 
to  the  crowded  state  of  the  altar  and  the  dim  light.  The 
altar  pictui-e  in  the  Martelli  chapel,  where  the  sympathetic 
Donatello  monument  (in  the  same  medium  as  his  "An- 
nunciation" at  S.  Croce)  is  found — on  the  way  to  the 
Library — is  by  Lippo  Lippi,  and  is  notable  for  the  pretty 
Virgin  receiving  the  angel's  news.  There  is  nice  colour 
in  the  predella. 

As  I  have  said  in  the  first  chapter,  we  are  too  prone  to 
ignore  the  architect.  We  look  at  the  jewels  and  forget 
the  casket.  Brunelleschi  is  a  far  greater  maker  of  Florence 
than  either  Donatello  or  Michelangelo ;  but  one  thinks 
of  him  rather  as  an  abstraction  than  a  man  or  forgets 
him  altogether.  Yet  the  S.  Lorenzo  sacristy  is  one  of  the 
few  perfect  things  in  the  world.  What  most  people,  how- 
ever, remember  is  its  tombs,  its  doors,  and  its  reliefs  ;  the 
proportions  escape  them.  I  think  its  shallow  easy  dome 
beyond  description  beautiful.     Brunelleschi,  who  had  an 


investigating  genius,  himself  painted  the  quaint  constella- 
tions in  the  ceiling  over  the  altar.  At  tiie  Pazzi  chapel 
we  shall  find  similar  ai-chitecture ;  but  there  extraneous 
colour  was  allowed  to  come  in.  Here  such  reliefs  as  were 
admitted  are  white  too. 

The  tomb  under  the  great  marble  and  poi"phyry  table 
in  the  centre  is  that  of  Giovanni  di  Bicci,  the  father,  and 
Piccarda,  the  mother,  of  Cosimo  Pater,  and  is  usually  attri- 
buted to  Buggiano,  the  adopted  son  of  Brunelleschi,  but 
other  authorities  give  it  either  to  Donatello  alone  or  to 
Donatello  with  Michelozzo  :  both  from  the  evidence  of 
the  design  and  because  it  is  unlikely  that  Cosimo  would 
ask  any  one  else  than  one  of  these  two  friends  of  his  to 
cany  out  a  commission  so  near  his  heart.  The  table  is  pait 
of  the  scheme  and  not  a  chance  covering.  I  think  the 
poiphyry  centre  ought  to  be  movable,  so  that  the  beautiful 
flying  figures  on  the  sarcophagus  could  be  seen.  But  Dona- 
tello's  most  striking  achievement  here  is  the  bronze  doors, 
which  are  at  once  so  simple  and  so  strong  and  so  surprising 
by  the  activity  of  the  virile  and  spirited  holy  men,  all  con- 
verting each  other,  thereon  depicted.  These  doors  could 
not  well  be  more  different  from  Ghiberti's,  in  the  casting 
of  which  Donatello  assisted ;  those  in  such  high  relief, 
these  so  low;  those  so  fluid  and  placid,  and  these  so 

Donatello  presides  over  this  room  (under  Brunelleschi) 
The  vivacious,  speaking  terra-cotta  bust  of  the  young  S. 
Lorenzo  on  the  altar  is  his ;  the  altar  railing  is  probably 
his ;  the  frieze  of  terra-cotta  cherubs  may  be  his ;  the  four 
low  reliefs  in  the  spandrels,  which  it  is  so  difficult  to  dis- 
cern but  which  photographs  prove  to  be  wonderful  scenes 
in  the  life  of  S.  John  the  Evangelist— so  like,  as  one  peers 
up  at  them,  plastic  Piranesis,  with  their  fine  masonry — are 



his.  The  other  reliefs  ai-e  Donatello's  too ;  but  the  lavabo 
in  the  inner  sacristy  is  Verrocchio's,  and  Verrocchio's  tomb 
of  Piero  can  never  be  overlooked  even  amid  such  a  wealth 
of  the  greater  master's  work. 

From  this  fascinating  room — fascinating  both  in  itself 
and  in  its  possessions — we  pass,  after  distributing  the 
necessary  largesse  to  the  sacristan,  to  a  turnstile  which  ad- 
mits, on  payment  of  a  lira,  to  the  Chapel  of  the  Princes 
and  to  Michelangelo's  sacristy.  Here  is  contrast,  indeed : 
the  sacristy,  austere  and  classic,  and  the  chapel  a  very  ex- 
hibition building  of  floridity  and  coloured  omateness, 
dating  from  the  seventeenth  century  and  not  finished  yet. 
In  paying  the  necessary  fee  to  see  these  buildings  one 
thinks  again  what  the  feelings  of  Giovanni  and  Cosimo 
and  Lorenzo  the  Magnificent,  and  even  of  Cosimo  I,  all 
such  generous  patrons  of  Florence,  would  be,  if  they  could 
see  the  present  feverish  collection  of  lii'e  in  their  beautiful 

-  Of  the  Chapel  of  the  Princes  I  have  little  to  say.  To 
pass  from  Michelangelo's  sacristy  to  this  is  an  6rror ; 
see  it,  if  see  it  you  must,  first.  While  the  fagade  of  S. 
Lorenzo  is  still  neglected  and  the  cornice  of  Brunelleschi's 
dome  is  still  unfinished,  this  lapidary's  show-room  is  being 
completed  at  a  cost  of  millions  of  lire.  Ever  since  1888 
has  the  floor  been  in  progress,  and  there  are  many  years' 
work  yet.  An  enthusiastic  custodian  gave  me  a  list  of  the 
stones  which  were  used  in  the  designs  of  the  coats  of  arms 
of  Tuscan  cities,  of  which  that  of  Fiesole  is  the  most  attrac- 
tive:— Sicily  jasper,  French  jasper,  Tuscany  jasper,  petri- 
fied wood,  white  and  yellow,  Corsican  granite,  Corsican 
jasper,  Oriental  alabaster,  French  marble,  lapis  lazuli,  verde 
antico,  Afiican  marble,  Siena  marble,  Carrara  marble, 
rose  agate,  mother  of  pearl,  and  coral.    The  names  of  the 


Medici  are  in  porphyry  and  ivory.    It  is  all  very  marvellous 
and  occasionally  beautiful ;  but  .  .  . 

This  pretentious  building  was  designed  by  a  natural  son 
of  Cosimo  I  in  1604,  and  was  begun  as  the  state  mausoleum 
of  the  Grand  Dukes ;  and  all  lie  here.  All  the  Grand 
Duchesses  too,  save  Bianca  Capella,  wife  of  Francis  I,  who 
was  buried  none  knows  where.  It  is  strange  to  realize  as 
one  stands  here  that  this  pavement  covers  all  those  ladies, 
buried  in  their  wonderful  clothes.  We  shall  see  Eleanor 
of  Toledo,  wife  of  Cosimo  I,  in  Bronzino's  famous  picture 
at  the  Uffizi,  in  an  amazing  brocaded  dress  :  it  is  that  dress 
in  which  she  reposes  beneath  us  !  They  had  their  jewels 
too,  and  each  Grand  Duke  his  crown  and  sceptre  ;  but 
these,  with  one  or  two  exceptions,  were  stolen  during  the 
French  occupation  of  Tuscany,  1801-1814.  Only  two  of 
the  Grand  Dukes  have  their  statues — Ferdinand  I  and 
Cosimo  II — and  the  Medici  no  longer  exist  in  the  Floren- 
tine memory ;  and  yet  the  quiet  brick  floor  is  having  all 
this  money  squandered  on  it  to  superimpose  costly  marbles 
which  cannot  matter  to  anybody. 

Michelangelo's  chapel,  called  the  New  Sacristy,  was 
begun  for  Leo  X  and  finished  for  Giulio  de'  Medici,  illegiti- 
mate son  of  the  murdered  Giuliano  and  afterwards  Pope 
Clement  VII.  Brunelleschi's  design  for  the  Old  Sacristy 
was  followed  but  made  more  severe.  This,  one  would  feel 
to  be  the  very  home  of  dead  princes  even  if  there  were  no 
statues.  The  only  colours  are  the  white  of  the  walls  and 
the  brown  of  the  pillars  and  windows ;  the  dome  was  to 
have  been  painted,  but  it  fortunately  escaped. 

The  contrast  between  Michelangelo's  dome  and  Brunel- 
leschi's is  complete— Brunelleschi's  so  suave  and  gentle  in 
its  rise,  with  its  grey  lines  to  help  the  eye,  and  this  soaring 
so  boldly  to  its  lantern,, with  its  xigid  device  of  dwind- 


ling  squares.  The  odd  thing  is  that  with  these  two  domes 
to  teach  him  better  the  designet  of  the  Chapel  of  the 
Princes  should  have  indulged  in  such  floridity. 

Such  is  the  force  of  the  architecture  in  the  sacristy  that 
one  is  profoundly  conscious  of  being  in  melancholy's  most 
perfect  home ;  and  the  building  is  so  much  a  part  of 
Michelangelo's  life  and  it  contains  such  marvels  from  his 
hand  that  I  choose  it  as  a  place  to  tell  his  story.  Michel- 
angelo Buonarroti  was  born  on  March  6th,  1475,  at  Caprese, 
of  which  town  his  father  was  Podesta.  At  that  time 
Brunelleschi  had  been  dead  twenty-nine  years,  Fra  Angelico 
twenty  years,  Donatello  nine  years,  Leonardo  da  Vinci  was 
twenty-three  years  old,  and  Raphael  was  not  yet  born. 
Lorenzo  the  Magnificent  had  been  on  what  was  virtually 
the  throne  of  Florence  since  1469  and  was  a  young  man  of 
twenty^six.  For  foster-mother  the  child  had  the  wife  of  a 
stone-mason  at  Settignano,  whither  the  family  soon  moved, 
and  Michelangelo  used  to  say  that  it  was  with  her  milk 
that  he  imbibed  the  stone-cutting  ai-t.  It  was  from  the  air 
too,  for  Settignano's  principal  industry  was  sculpture. 
The  village  being  only  three  miles  from  Florence,  from  it 
the  boy  could  see  the  city  very  much  as  we  see  it  now — its 
Duomo,  its  campanile,  with  the  same  attendant  spii'es.  He 
was  sent  to  Florence  to  school  and  intended  for  either  the 
wool  or  silk  trade,  as  so  many  Florentines  were ;  but  dis- 
playing artistic  ability,  he  induced  his  father  to  apprentice 
him,  at  the  age  of  thirteen,  to  a  famous  goldsmith  and 
painter  of  Florence  who  had  a  busy  atelier — no  other  than 
Domenico  Ghirlandaio,  who  was  then  a  man  of  thirty- 

Michelangelo  remained  with  him  for  three  years,  and 
although  his  power  and  imagination  were  already  greater 
than  his  master's,  he  learned  much,  and  would  never  have 


made  his  Sixtine  Chapel  fi'escoes  with  the  ease  he  did  but 
for  this  early  grounding.  For  Ghirlandaio,  although  not  of 
the  first  rank  of  painters  in  genius,  was  pre-eminently  there 
in  thoroughness,  while  he  was  good  for  the  boy  too  in 
spirit,  having  a  large  way  with  him.  The  first  work  of 
Ghu'landaio  which  the  boy  saw  in  the  making  was  the 
beautiful  "Adoration  of  the  Magi,"  in  the  Church  of  the 
Spedale  degli  Innocenti,  completed  in  1488,  and  the  S.  Maria 
Novella  frescoes,  and  it  is  reasonable  to  suppose  that  he 
helped  with  the  frescoes  in  colour  grinding,  even  if  he  did 
not,  as  some  have  said,  paint  with  his  own  hand  the  beggar 
sitting  on  the  steps  in  the  scene  representing  the  "  Presenta- 
tion of  the  Virgin  ".  That  he  was  already  clever  with  his 
pencil,  we  know,  for  he  had  made  some  caricatures  and 
con-ected  a  drawing  or  two. 

The  three  years  with  Ghirlandaio  were  reduced  event- 
ually to  one,  the  boy  having  the  good  fortune  to  be  chosen 
as  one  of  enough  promise  to  be  worth  instruction,  both  by 
precept  and  example,  in  the  famous  Medici  garden.  Here 
he  was  more  at  home  than  in  a  painting  room,  for  plastic 
art  was  his  passion,  and  not  only  had  Lorenzo  the  Magnifi- 
cent gathered  together  there  many  of  those  masterpieces  of 
ancient  sculpture  which  we  shall  see  at  the  UflSzi,  but 
Bertoldo,  the  aged  head  of  this  informal  school,  was  the 
possessor  of  a  private  collection  of  Donatellos  and  other 
Renaissance  work  of  extraordinary  beauty  and  worth. 
Donatello's  influence  on  the  boy  held  long  enough  for  him 
to  make  the  low  relief  of  the  Madonna,  much  in  his  style, 
which  is  now  preserved  in  the  Casa  Buonarroti,  while  the 
plaque  of  the  battle  of  the  Centaurs  and  Lapithae  which 
is  also  there  shows  Bertoldo's  influence. 

The  boy's  fii-st  encounter  with  Lorenzo  occurred  while 
he  was  modelling  the  head  of  an  aged  faun.     His  mag- 


nificent  patron  stopped  to  watch  him,  pointing  out  that  so 
old  a  creature  would  probably  not  have  such  a  fine  set  of 
teeth,  and  Michelangelo,  taking  the  hint,  in  a  moment  had 
not  only  knocked  out  a  tooth  or  two  but — and  here  his 
observation  told — hollowed  the  gums  and  cheeks  a  little  in 
sympathy.  Lorenzo  was  so  pleased  with  his  quickness  and 
skill  that  he  received  him  into  his  house  as  the  companion 
of  his  three  sons :  of  Piero,  who  was  so  soon  and  so  disas- 
trously to  succeed  his  father,  but  was  now  a  high-spirited 
youth  ;  of  Giovanni,  who,  as  Pope  Leo  X  many  years  after, 
was  to  give  Michelangelo  the  commission  for  this  very 
sacristy ;  and  of  Giuliano,  who  lies  beneath  one  of  the  tombs. 
As  their  companion  he  enjoyed  the  advantage  of  sharing 
their  lessons  under  Poliziano,  the  poet,  and  of  hearing  the 
conversation  of  Pico  della  Mirandola,  who  was  usually  with 
Lorenzo  ;  and  to  these  early  fastidious  and  intellectual  sur- 
roundings the  artist  owed  much. 

That  he  read  much,  we  know,  the  Bible  and  Dante  being 
constant  companions ;  and  we  know  also  that  in  addition 
to  modelling  and  copying  under  Bertoldo,  he  was  assiduous 
in  studying  Masaccio's  frescoes  at  the  church  of  the  Cax'- 
mine  across  the  river,  which  had  become  a  school  of 
painting.  It  was  there  that  his  fellow-pupil,  Pietro 
ToiTigiano,  who  was  always  his  enemy  and  a  bully,  broke 
his  nose  with  one  blow  and  flew  to  Rome  from  the  rage  of 

It  was  when  Michelangelo  was  seventeen  that  Lorenzo 
died,  at  the  early  age  of  forty-two,  and  although  the  gar- 
den still  existed  and  the  Medici  palace  was  still  open  to 
the  youth,  the  spirit  had  passed.  Piero,  who  succeeded  his 
father,  had  none  of  his  ability  or  sagacity,  and  in  two  years 
was  a  refugee  fi'om  the  city,  while  the  treasures  of  the 
garden  were  disposed  by  auction,  and  Michelangelo,  too 

rUTTO    WITH    l)OI.rill\ 

FRCni    THE    rjROWE    l;V    \'ERROCCHin    IN     fill.     l'AI,A//0    \ECCHIO 


conspicuous  as  a  Medici  pr6t6g6  to  be  safe,  hurried  away 
to  Bologna.     He  was  now  nineteen. 

Of  his  travels  I  say  nothing  here,  for  we  must  keep  to 
Florence,  whither  he  thought  it  safe  to  return  in  1495. 
The  city  was  now  governed  by  the  Great  Council  and  the 
Medici  banished.  Michelangelo  remained  only  a  brief 
time  and  then  went  to  Rome,  where  he  made  his  first 
Pietk,  at  which  he  was  working  during  the  trial  and  exe- 
cution of  Savonarola,  whom  he  admired  and  reverenced, 
and  where  he  remained  until  1501,  when,  aged  twenty-six, 
he  returned  to  Florence  to  do  some  of  his  most  famous 
work.     The  Medici  were  still  in  exile. 

It  was  in  August,  1501,  that  the  authorities  of  the 
cathedral  asked  Michelangelo  to  do  what  he  could  with 
a  great  block  of  marble  on  their  hands,  from  which  he 
carved  that  statue  of  David  of  which  I  tell  the  story  in 
chapter  XVI.  This  established  his  pre-eminence  as  a 
sculptor.  Other  commissions  for  statues  poured  in,  and  in 
1504i  he  was  invited  to  design  a  cartoon  for  the  Palazzo 
Vecchio,  to  accompany  one  by  Leonardo,  and  a  studio  was 
given  him  in  the  Via  Guelfa  for  the  purpose.  This  cartoon, 
when  finished,  so  far  established  him  also  as  the  greatest 
of  painters  that  the  Masaccios  in  the  Carmine  were  deserted 
by  young  artists  in  order  that  this  might  be  studied  in- 
stead. The  cartoon,  as  I  relate  in  the  chapter  on  the 
Palazzo  Vecchio,  no  longer  exists. 

The  next  year,  1505,  Michelangelo,  nearing  his  thirtieth 
birthday,  returned  to  Rome  and  entered  upon  the  second 
and  tragic  period  of  his  life,  for  he  arrived  there  only  to 
receive  the  order  for  the  Julius  tomb  which  poisoned  his 
remaining  yeare,  and  of  which  more  is  said  in  the  chapter  on 
the  Accademia,  where  we  see  so  many  vestiges  of  it  both 
in  marble  and  plaster.    But  I  might  remark  here  that  this 



vain  and  capricious  pontiff,  whose  pride  and  indecision 
robbed  the  worid  of  no  one  can  ever  say  what  glorious 
work  from  Michelangelo's  hand,  is  the  benevolent-looking 
old  man  whose  portrait  by  Raphael  is  in  the  Pitti  and 
Uffizi  in  colour,  in  the  Corsini  Palace  in  charcoal,  and 
again  in  our  own  National  Gallery  in  colour. 

Of  Michelangelo  at  Rome  and  Carrara,  whither  he 
went  to  superintend  in  pei-son  the  quarrying  of  the  marble 
that  was  to  be  transferred  to  life  and  where  he  had  endless 
vexations  and  mortifications,  I  say  nothing.  Enough  that 
the  election  of  his  boy  friend  Giovanni  de'  Medici  as  Pope 
Leo  X  in  1513  brought  him  again  to  Florence,  the  Pope 
having  a  strong  wish  that  Michelangelo  should  complete 
the  fa9ade  of  the  Medici  family  church,  S.  Lorenzo,  where 
we  now  are.  As  we  know,  the  scheme  was  not  carried  out, 
but  in  1520  the  Pope  substituted  another  and  more  attrac- 
tive one :  namely,  a  chapel  to  contain  the  tombs  not 
only  of  his  father  the  Magnificent,  and  his  uncle,  who  had 
been  murdered  in  the  Duomo  many  years  before,  but  also 
his  nephew  Piero  de'  Medici,  Duke  of  Urbino,  who  had 
just  died,  in  1619,  and  his  younger  brother  (and  Michel- 
angelo's early  playmate)  Giuliano  de'  Medici,  Duke  of 
Nemours,  who  had  died  in  1516.  These  were  not  Medici 
of  the  highest  class,  but  family  pride  was  strong.  It  is, 
howevei',  odd  that  no  memorial  of  Piero  di  Lorenzo  def 
Medici,  who  had  been  drowned  at  the  age  of  twenly-two 
in  1503,  was  required ;  perhaps  it  may  have  been  that  since 
it  was  Piero's  folly  that  had  brought  the  Medici  into  such 
disgrace  in  1494,  the  less  thought  of  him  the  better. 

Michelangelo  took  fii-e  at  once,  and  again  hastened 
to  Carrara  to  arrange  for  marble  to  be  sent  to  his  studio 
in  the  Via  Mozzi,  now  the  Via  S.  Zenobi;  while  the 
building  stone  was  brought  from  Fiesola     Leo  X  lived 


only  to  know  that  the  gi-eat  man  had  begun,  the 
new  patron  being  Giulio  de'  Medici,  natural  son  of  the 
murdered  Giuliano,  now  a  cardinal,  and  soon,  in  1528,  to 
become  Pope  Clement  VII.  This  Pope  showed  deep  interest 
in  the  project,  but  wished  not  only  to  add  tombs  of  him- 
self and  Pope  Leo  X,  but  also  to  build  a  librai-y  for  the 
Laurentian  collection,  which  Michelangelo  must  design. 
A  little  later  he  had  decided  that  he  would  prefer  to  lie 
in  the  choir  of  the  church,  and  Leo  X  with  him,  and 
instead  therefore  of  tombs  Michelangelo  might  merely 
make  a  colossal  statue  of  him  to  stand  in  the  piazza  before 
the  church.  The  sculptor's  temper  had  not  been  improved 
by  his  many  years'  experience  of  papal  caprice,  and  he  replied 
to  this  suggestion  with  a  letter  unique  even  in  the  annals 
of  infuriated  artists.  Let  the  statue  be  made,  of  course, 
he  said,  but  let  it  be  useful  as  well  as  ornamental :  the 
lower  portion  to  be  also  a  barber's  shop,  and  the  head, 
since  it  would  be  empty,  a  gieengrocer's.  The  Pope 
allowed  himself  to  be  rebuked,  and  abandoned  the  statue, 
wilting  a  mild  and  even  pathetic  reply. 

Until  1527  Michelangelo  worked  away  at  the  building 
and  the  tombs,  always  secretly,  behind  impenetrable  bar- 
riers ;  and  then  came  the  troubles  which  led  to  the  siege 
of  Florence,  following  upon  the  banishment  of  Alessandro, 
Duke  of  Urbino,  natural  son  of  the  veiy  Lorenzo  whom 
the  sculptor  was  to  dignify  for  all  time.  By  the  Emperor 
Chai'les  V  and  Pope  Clement  VII  the  city  was  attacked,  and 
Michelangelo  was  called  away  from  Clement's  sacristy  to 
fortify  Florence  against  Clement's  soldiers.  Part  of  his 
rampai'ts  at  S.  Miniato  still  remain,  and  he  strengthened 
all  the  gates ;  but,  feeling  himself  slighted  and  hating  the 
whole  affair,  he  suddenly  disappeared.  One  story  is  that 
he  hid  in  the  church  tower  of  S.  Niccolo,  below  what  is 


now  the  Piazzale  dedicated  to  his  memory.  Wherever  he 
was,  he  was  proclaimed  an  outlaw,  and  then,  on  Florence 
finding  that  she  could  not  do  without  him,  was  pardoned, 
and  so  returaed,  the  city  meanwhile  having  suiTendered 
and  the  Medici  again  being  restored  to  power. 

The  Pope  showed  either  fine  magnanimity  or  com- 
pounded with  facts  in  the  interest  of  the  sacristy ;  for  he 
encouraged  Michelangelo  to  proceed,  and  the  pacific  work 
was  taken  up  once  more  after  the  martial  interregnum,  and 
in  a  desultory  way  he  was  busy  at  it,  always  secretly  and 
moodily,  until  1533,  when  he  tired  completely  and  never 
touched  it  again.  A  year  later  Clement  VH  died,  having 
seen  only  drawings  of  the  tombs,  if  those 

But  though  left  unfinished,  the  sacristy  is  wholly  satis- 
fying— more  indeed  than  satisfying,  conquering.  What- 
ever help  Michelangelo  may  have  had  from  his  assistants, 
it  is  known  that  the  symbolical  figiu'es  on  the  tombs  and 
the  two  seated  Medici  are  fi-om  his  hand.  Of  the  two 
finished  or  practically  finished  tombs — to  my  mind  as 
finished  as  they  should  be — that  of  Lorenzo  is  the  finer. 
The  presentment  of  Lorenzo  in  armour  brooding  and  plan- 
ning is  more  splendid  than  that  of  Giuliano  ;  while  the 
old  man,  whose  head  anticipates  eveiything  that  is  con- 
sidered most  original  in  Rodin's  work,  is  among  the  best 
of  Michelangelo's  statuary.  Much  speculation  has  been 
indulged  in  as  to  the  meaning  of  the  symbolism  of  these 
tombs,  and  having  no  theory  of  my  own  to  offer,  I  am  glad 
to  borrow  Mr.  Gerald  S.  Davies'  summary  from  his  mono- 
graph on  Michelangelo.  The  figure  of  Giuliano  typifies 
energy  and  leadei-ship  in  repose ;  while  the  man  on  his 
tomb  typifies  Day  and  the  woman  Night,  or  the  man 
Action  and  the  woman  the  sleep  and  rest  that  produce 
Action.     The  figure  of  Lorenzo   typifies   Contemplation, 


the  woman  Dawn,  and  the  man  Twilight,  the  states  which 
lie  between  light  and  dai-kness,  action  and  rest.  What 
Michelangelo — who  owed  nothing  to  any  Medici  save  only 
Lorenzo  the  Magnificent  and  had  seen  the  best  yeai"s  of 
his  life  frittered  away  in  the  service  of  them  and  other 
proud  princes — may  also  have  intended  we  shall  never 
know ;  but  he  was  a  saturnine  man  with  a  long  memory, 
and  he  might  easily  have  made  the  tombs  a  vehicle  for 
criticism.  One  would  not  have  another  touch  of  the  chisel 
on  either  of  the  symbolical  m^le  figures. 

Although  a  tomb  to  Lorenzo  the  Magnificent  by  Michel- 
angelo would  surely  have  been  a  wonderful  thing,  there  is 
something  startling  and  arresting  in  the  circumstance  that 
he  has  none  at  all  from  any  hand,  but  lies  here  unrecorded. 
His  grandfather,  in  the  church  itself,  rests  beneath  a  plain 
slab,  which  aimed  so  consciously  at  modesty  as  thereby 
to  achieve  special  distinction :  Lorenzo,  leaving  no  such 
directions,  has  nothing,  while  in  the  same  room  are  monu- 
ments to  two  common-place  descendants  to  thriU  the  soul. 
The  disparity  is  in  itself  monumental.  That  Michelangelo's 
Madonna  and  Child  are  on  the  slab  which  covers  the  dust  of 
Lorenzo  and  his  brother  is  a  chance.  The  saints  on  either 
side  are  S.  Cosimo  and  S.  DsCmian,  the  patron  saints  of  old 
Cosimo  de'  Medici,  and  are  by  Michelangelo's  assistants. 
The  Madonna  was  intended  for  the  altar  of  the  sacristy. 
Into  this  work  the  sculptor  put  much  of  his  melancholy 
and,  one  feels,  disappointment.  The  face  of  the  Madonna 
is  already  sad  and  hopeless ;  but  the  Child  is  perhaps  the 
most  splendid  and  determined  of  any  in  all  Renaissance 
sculpture.  He  may,  if  we  like,  symbolize  the  new  genera- 
tion that  is  always  deriving  sustenance  from  the  old,  with- 
out care  or  thought  of  what  the  old  has  to  sufier ;  he 


crushes  his  head  against  his  mother's  breast  in  a  very 
passion  of  vigorous  dependence.' 

Whatever  was  originally  intended,  it  is  ceiiain  that  in 
Michelangelo's  sacristy  disillusionment  reigns  as  well  as 
death.     But  how  beautiful  it  is  ! 

In  a  little  room  leading  from  the  sacristy  I  was  shown 
by  a  smiling  custodian  Lorenzo  the  Magnificent's  coffin, 
crumbling  away,  and  photographs  of  the  skulls  of  the  two 
brothers :  Giuliano's  with  one  of  Francesco  de'  Pazzi's 
dagger  wounds  in  it,  and  Lorenzo's,  ghastly  in  its  decay. 
I  gave  the  man  half  a  lira. 

While  he  was  working  on  the  tombs  Michelangelo  had 
undertaken  now  and  then  a  small  commission,  and  to  this 
period  belongs  the  David  which  we  shall  see  in  the  little 
room  on  the  ground  floor  of  the  Bargello.  In  1634,  when 
he  finally  abandoned  the  sacristy,  and,  leaving  Florence 
for  evei",  settled  in  Rome,  the  Laurentian  library  was  only 
begun,  and  he  had  little  interest  in  it.  He  never  saw  it 
again.  At  Rome  his  time  was  fully  occupied  in  painting 
the  "  Last  Judgment ''  in  the  Sixtine  Chapel,  and  in  various 
architectural  works.  But  Florence  at  any  rate  has  two 
marble  masterpieces  that  belong  to  the  later  period — 
the  Brutus  in  the  Bargello  and  the  Pieta  in  the  Duomo, 
which  we  have  seen — that  poignantly  impressive  rendering 
of  the  entombment  upon  which  the  old  man  was  at  work 
when  he  died,  and  which  he  meant  for  his  own  grave. 

His  death  came  in  1 564,  on  February  23rd,  when  he  was 
nearly  eighty-nine,  and  his  body  was  brought  to  Florence 
and  buried  amid  universal  giief  in  S.  Croce,  where  it  has  a 
florid  monument. 

^  In  the  Victoria  and  Albert  Museum  at  South  Kensington  are  casts  of 
the  two  Medici  on  the  tombs  and  also  the  Madonna  and  Child.  They 
are  in  the  great  gallery  of  the  casts,  together  with  the  great  David,  two  of 
the  Julian  tomb  prisoners,  the  Bargello  tondo  and  the  Brutus. 

FROM    THE    t'AIN-IIM,    AsclOlilil)    TO    MilPHIM) 

IN    THK    Uri'lXI 


Since  we  ai-e  considering  the  life  of  Michelangelo,  I  might 
perhaps  say  here  a  few  words  about  his  house,  which  is 
only  a  few  minutes'  distant — at  No.  64  Via  Ghibellina — 
where  certain  early  works  and  personal  relics  are  preserved 
Michelangelo  gave  the  house  to  his  nephew  Leonardo ;  it 
was  decorated  early  in  the  seventeenth  century  with  scenes 
in  the  life  of  the  master,  and  finally  bequeathed  to  the 
city  as  a  heritage  in  1858.  It  is  perhaps  the  best  example 
of  the  rapapity  of  the  Florentines  ;  for  notwithstanding 
that  it  was  left  freely  in  this  way  a  lira  is  charged  for 
admission.  The  house  contains  more  collateral  curiosities, 
as  they  might  be  called,  than  those  in  the  direct  line  ;  but 
there  are  architectural  drawings  from  the  wonderful  hand, 
colour  drawings  of  a  Madonna,  a  few  studies,  and  two  early 
pieces  of  sculpture — the  battle  of  the  Lapithae  and  Cen- 
taurs, a  relief  marked  by  tremendous  vigour  and  full  of 
movement,  and  a  Madonna  and  Child,  also  in  relief,  with 
many  marks  of  greatness  upon  it.  In  a  recess  in  Room  IV 
are  some  personal  relics  of  the  artist,  which  his  great 
nephew,  the  poet,  who  was  named  after  him,  began  to  col- 
lect early  in  the  seventeenth  century.  As  a  whole  the 
house  is  disappointing. 

Upstairs  have  been  arranged  a  quantity  of  prints  and 
drawings  illustrating  the  history  of  Florence. 

The  S.  Lorenzo  cloisters  may  be  entered  either  from 
a  side  door  in  the  church  close  to  the  Old  Sacristy  or 
from  the  piazza.  Although  an  official  in  uniform  keeps 
the  piazza  door,  they  are  free.  Brunelleschi  is  again 
the  architect,  and  from  the  loggia  at  the  entrance  to 
the  library  you  see  most  acceptably  the  whole  of  his 
cathedral  dome  and  half  of  Giotto's  tower.  It  is  im- 
possible for  Florentine  cloisteiis — or  indeed  any  cloisters — 
not  to  have  a  certain  beauty,  and   these  are   unusually 


charming  and  light,  seen  both  from  the  loggia  and  the 

Michelangelo's  Biblioteca  Laurenziana,  which  leads  from 
them,  is  one  of  the  most  perfect  of  sombre  buildings,  the 
very  home  of  well-ordered  scholarship.  The  staii'case  is 
impressive,  although  perhaps  a  little  too  severe  ;  the  long 
room  could  not  be  more  satisfying  to  the  eye.  Michelangelo 
died  before  it  was  finished,  but  it  is  his  in  design,  even  to 
the  ceiling  and  cases  for  MSS.  in  which  the  library  is  so 
rich,  and  the  rich  red  wood  ceiling.  Vasari,  Michelangelo's 
pupil  and  friend  and  the  biographer  to  whom  we  are  so 
much  indebted,  carried  on  the  work.  His  scheme  of 
windows  has  been  upset  on  the  side  opposite  the  cloisters 
by  the  recent  addition  of  a  rotunda  leading  from  the  main 
room.  If  ever  rectangular  windows  were  more  exquisitely 
and  nobly  proportioned  I  should  like  to  see  them.  The 
library  is  free  for  students,  and  the  attendants  are  very 
good  in  calling  stray  visitors'  attention  to  illuminated 
missals,  old  MSS.,  early  books  and  so  forth.  One  of 
Galileo's  fingere,  stolen  from  his  body,  used  to  be  kept 
here,  in  a  glass  case,  and  may  be  here  still ;  but  I  did  not 
see  it.  I  saw,  however,  the  portraits,  in  an  old  volume,  of 
Petrarch  and  his  Laura. 

This  wonderful  collection  was  begun  by  Cosimo  de' 
Medici;  others  added  to  it  until  it  became  one  of  the 
most  valuable  in  the  world,  not,  however,  without  variofls 
vicissitudes  incident  to  any  Florentine  institution  :  while 
one  of  its  most  cherished  treasures,  the  Virgil  of  the  fourth 
or  fifth  century,  was  even  cai-ried  to  Paris  by  Napoleon  and 
not  returned  until  the  great  year  of  restoration,  1816. 
Among  the  holograph  MSS.  is  Cellini's  "Autobiography". 
The  library,  in  time,  after  being  confiscated  by  the  Re- 
public and  sold  to  the  monks  of  S.  Marco,  again  passed 


into  the  possession  of  a  Medici,  Leo  X,  son  of  Lorenzo 
the  Magnificent,  and  then  of  Clement  VII,  and  he  it  was 
who  commissioned  Michelangelo  to  house  it  with  dignity. 

An  old  daily  custom  in  the  cloistere  of  S.  Lorenzo  was 
the  feeding  of  cats ;  but  it  has  long  since  been  dropped.  If 
you  look  at  Mr.  Hewlett's  "  Earthwork  out  of  Tuscany  " 
you  wiU  find  an  entertaining  description  of  what  it  used 
to  be  like 



The  little  Bigallo — The  Misericordia — Or  San  Michele — Andrea  Or- 
cagna — The  Tabernacle — Old  Glass — A  company  of  stone  saints — 
Donatello's  S.  George — Dante  conferences — The  Guilds  of  Florence — 
The  Palazzo  Vecchio — Two  Towers — Bandinelli's  group — The  Marzocco 
— The  Piazza  della  Signoria — Orcagna's  Loggia — Cellini  and  Cosimo 
— The  Perseus — Verrocchio's  dolphin — The  Great  Council  Hall — Leo- 
nardo da  Vinci  and  Michelangelo's  cartoons — Bandinelli's  malice — The 
Palazzo  Vecchio  as  a  home — Two  cells  and  the  bell  of  independence. 

LET  us  now  proceed  along  the  Via  Calzaioli  (which 
means  street  of  the  stocking-makers),  running  away 
from  the  Piazza  del  Duomo  to  the  Piazza  della  Signoria. 
The  fascinatingly  pretty  building  at  the  comer,  opposite 
Pisano's  Baptistery  doors,  is  the  Bigallo,  in  the  loggia  of 
which  foundling  children  used  to  be  displayed  in  the  hope 
that  passers-by  might  pity  them  sufficiently  to  make  them 
presents  or  even  adopt  them ;  but  this  custom  continues 
no  longer.  The  Bigallo  was  designed,  it  is  thought,  by 
Orcagna,  and  it  is  worth  the  minutest  study. 

The  Company  of  the  Bigallo,  which  is  no  longer  an  active 
force,  was  one  of  the  benevolent  societies  of  old  Florence. 
But  the  greatest  of  these  societies,  still  busy  and  merciful, 
is  the  Misericordia,  whose  head-quarters  are  just  across  the 
Via  Calzaioli,  in  the  piazza,  facing  the  campanile,  a 
company  of  Florentines  pledged  at  a  moment's  notice,  no 




matter  on  what  they  may  be  engaged,  to  assist  in  any 
charitable  work  of  necessity.  For  the  most  part  they 
carry  ambulances  to  the  scenes  of  accident  and  perform  the 
last  offices  for  the  dead  in  the  poorer  districts.  When 
on  duty  they  wear  black  robes  and  hoods.  Their  head- 
quai'ters  comprise  a  chapel,  with  an  altar  by  Andrea  della 
Robbia,  and  a  statue  of  the  patron  saint  of  the  Miseri- 
cordia,  S.  Sebastian.  But  their  real  patron  saint  is  their 
founder,  a  common  porter  named  Pietro  Borsi.  In  the 
thirteenth  century  it  was  the  custom  for  the  porters  and 
loafers  connected  with  the  old  market  to  meet  in  a  shelter 
here  and  pass  the  time  away  as  best  they  could.  Borsi, 
joining  them,  was  distressed  to  find  how  unprofitable  were 
the  houra,  and  he  suggested  the  formation  of  a  society  to 
be  of  some  real  use,  the  money  to  support  it  to  be 
obtained  by  fines  in  payment  for  oaths  and  blasphemies. 
A  litter  or  two  were  soon  bought  and  the  machinery 
started.  The  name  was  the  Company  of  the  Brothers  of 
Mercy.  That  was  in  1240  to  1250.  To-day  no  Florentine 
is  too  grand  to  take  his  part,  and  at  the  head  of  the 
pointer's  band  of  brethren  is  the  King. 

Passing  along  the  Via  Calzaioli  we  come  on  the  right  to 
a  noble  square  building  with  statues  in  its  niches — Or 
San  Michele,  which  stands  on  the  site  of  the  chapel  of 
San  Michele  in  Orto.  San  Michele  in  Orto,  or  more  prob- 
ably in  HoiTeo  (meaning  either  in  the  garden  or  in  the 
granary),  was  once  part  of  a  loggia  used  as  a  corn  market, 
in  which  was  preserved  a  picture  by  Ugolino  da  Siena 
representing  the  Virgin,  and  this  picture  had  the  power  of 
working  miracles.  Early  in  the  fourteenth  century  the 
loggia  was  burned  down  but  the  picture  was  saved  (or 
quickly  replaced),  and  a  new  building  on  a  much  larger  and 
more  splendid  scale  was  made  for  it,  none  other  than  Or 


San  Michele,  the  chief  architect  being  Taddeo  Gaddi, 
Giotto's  pupil  and  later  the  constructor  of  the  Ponte  Vecchio. 
Where  the  picture  then  was,  I  cannot  say — whether  inside 
the  building  or  out — but  the  principal  use  of  the  building 
was  to  serve  as  a  granary.  After  1348,  when  Florence  was 
visited  by  that  ravaging  plague  which  Boccaccio  describes  in 
such  gruesome  detail  at  the  beginning  of  the  "  Decameron  " 
and  which  sent  his  gay  company  of  ladies  and  gentlemen 
to  the  Villa  Palmieri  to  take  refuge  in  story  telling,  and 
when  this  sacred  picture  was  more  than  commonly  busy 
and  efficacious,  it  was  decided  to  apply  the  enormous  sums 
of  money  given  to  the  shrine  from  gratitude  in  beautifying 
the  church  still  more,  and  chiefly  in  providing  a  casket 
worthy  of  holding  such  a  pictorial  treasure.  Hence  came 
about  the  noble  edifice  of  to-day. 

A  man  of  universal  genius  was  called  in  to  execute  the 
tabernacle :  Andrea  Orcagna,  a  pupil  probably  of  Andrea 
Pisano,  and  also  much  influenced  by  Giotto,  whom  though 
he  had  not  known  he  idolized,  and  one  who,  like  Michel- 
angelo later,  was  not  only  a  painter  and  sculptor  but  an 
architect  and  a  poet.  Orcagna,  or,  to  give  him  his  right 
name,  Andrea  di  Clone,  for  Orcagna  was  an  abbreviation 
of  Ai'cagnolo,  flourished  in  the  middle  of  the  fourteenth 
century.  Among  his  best-known  works  in  painting  are 
the  Dantesque  frescoes  in  the  Strozzi  chapel  at  S.  Maria 
Novella,  and  that  terrible  allegory  of  Death  and  Judgment 
in  the  Campo  Santo  at  Pisa,  in  which  the  gay  riding  party 
come  upon  the  three  open  gi-aves,  Orcagna  put  all  his 
sti-ength  into  the  tabernacle  of  Or  San  Michele,  which  is 
a  most  sumptuous,  beautiful  and  thoughtful  shrine,  yet 
owing  to  the  darkness  of  the  church  is  almost  invisible. 
Guides,  it  is  true,  will  emerge  from  the  gloom  and  hold 
lighted  tapers  to  it,  but  a  right  conception  of  it  is  impos- 


sible.  The  famous  miraculous  picture  over  the  altar  is 
notable  rather  for  its  properties  than  for  its  intrinsic  beauty ; 
it  is  the  panels  of  the  altar,  which  contain  Orcagna's  most 
exquisite  work,  representing  scenes  in  the  life  of  the  Virgin, 
with  emblematical  figures  interspersed,  that  one  wishes  to 
see.  Only  the  back,  however,  can  be  seen  really  well,  and 
this  only  when  a  door  opposite  to  it — in  the  Via  Calzaioli 
— is  opened.  It  should  always  be  open,  with  a  grille 
across  it,  that  passers-by  might  have  constant  sight  of  this 
almost  unknown  Florentine  treasure.  It  is  in  the  relief  of 
the  death  of  the  Virgin  on  the  back  that — on  the  extreme 
right — Orcagna  introduced  his  own  portrait.  The  marble 
employed  is  of  a  delicate  softness,  and  Orcagna  had  enough 
of  Giotto's  tradition  to  make  the  Virgin  a  reality  and  to 
interest  Her,  for  example,  as  a  mother  in  the  washing  of 
Her  Baby,  as  few  painters  have  done,  and  in  particular, 
as,  according  to  Ruskin,  poor  Ghirlandaio  could  not  do 
in  his  fresco  of  the  birth  of  the  Virgin  Herself.  It 
was  Orcagna's  habit  to  sign  his  sculpture  "  Andrea  di  Clone, 
painter,"  and  his  paintings  "  Andrea  di  Clone,  sculptor," 
and  thus  point  his  versatility.  By  this  tabernacle,  by  his 
Pisan  fresco,  and  by  the  designs  of  the  Loggia  de'  Lanzi  and 
the  Bigallo  (which  are  usually  given  to  him),  he  takes  his 
place  among  the  most  interesting  and  various  of  the  fore- 
runners of  the  Renaissance. 

Within  Or  San  Michele  yoq  learn  the  secret  of  the 
stoned-up  windows  which  one  sees  with  regret  from  without. 
Each,  or  nearly  each,  has  an  altar  against  it.  What  the  old 
glass  was  like  one  can  divine  from  the  lovely  and  sombre 
top  lights  in  exquisite  patterns  that  are  left ;  that  on  the 
centre  of  the  right  wall  of  the  church,  as  one  enters,  having 
jewels  of  green  glass  as  lovely  as  any  I  ever  saw.  But  blues, 
purples,  and  reds  predominate. 


The  tabernacle  apart,  the  main  appeal  of  Or  San  Michele 
is  the  statuary  and  stone-work  of  the  exterior ;  for  here 
we  find  the  early  masters  at  theii-  best.  The  building 
being  the  head-quarters  of  the  twelve  Florentine  guilds, 
the  statues  and  decorations  were  commissioned  by  them.  It 
is  as  though  our  City  companies  should  unite  in  beautifying 
the  Guildhall.  Donatello  is  the  gi-eatest  artist  here,  and  it 
was  for  the  Armourers  that  he  made  his  S.  George,  which 
stands  now,  as  he  cai-ved  it  in  marble,  in  the  Bargello,  but 
has  a  bronze  substitute  in  its  original  niche,  below  which 
is  a  relief  of  the  slaying  of  the  dragon  from  Donatello's 
chisel.  Of  this  glorious  S.  George  more  will  be  said  later. 
But  I  may  remark  now  that  in  its  place  here  it  instantly 
proves  the  modernity  and  realistic  vigour  of  its  sculptor. 
Fine  though  they  be,  all  the  other  statues  of  this  building 
are  conventional ;  they  cany  on  a  tradition  of  religious 
sculpture  such  as  Niccolo  Pisano  respected,  many  years 
earlier,  when  he  worked  at  the  Pisan  pulpit.  But  Dona- 
tello's S.  George  is  new  and  is  as  beautiful  as  a  Greek  god, 
with  something  of  real  human  life  added. 

Donatello  (with  Michelozzo)  also  made  the  exquisite  bor- 
der of  the  niche  in  the  Via  Calzaioli  fa§ade,  in  which  Christ 
and  S.  Thomas  now  stand.  He  was  also  to  have  made  the 
figures  (for  the  Merchants'  Guild)  but  was  busy  elsewhere, 
and  they  fell  to  Verrocchio,  of  whom  also  we  shall 
have  much  to  see  and  say  at  the  Bargello,  and  to  my  mind 
they  are  the  most  beautiful  of  alL  The  John  the  Baptist 
(made  for  the  Cloth-dealers),  also  on  this  facade,  is  by 
Ghiberti  of  the  Baptistery  gates.  On  the  fagade  of  the 
Via  de'  Lamberti  is  Donatello's  superb  S.  Mark  (for  the 
Joiners),  which  led  to  Michelangelo's  criticism  that  he  had 
never  seen  a  man  who  looked  more  virtuous,  and  if  S.  Mark 
were  really  like  that  he  would  believe  all  his  words,    "  Why 


don't  you  speak  to  me  ? "  he  also  said  to  this  statue,  as 
Donatello  had  said  to  the  Zuccone.  Higher  on  this  fagade 
is  Luca  della  Robbia's  famous  arms  of  the  Silk- weavers,  one 
of  the  perfect  things.  Luca  also  made  the  ai-ms  of  the 
Guild  of  Merchants,  with  its  Florentine  fleur-de-lis  in  the 
midst.  For  the  rest,  Ghiberti's  S.  Stephen,  and  Ghiberti 
and  Michelozzo's  S.  Matthew,  on  the  entrance  wall,  are  the 
most  remarkable.  The  blacksmith  relief  is  very  lively  and 
the  blacksmith's  saint  a  noble  figure. 

The  little  square  reliefs  let  into  the  wall  at  intervals 
are  often  charming,  and  the  stone-work  of  the  windows  is 
very  lovely.  In  fact,  the  four  walls  of  this  fortress  church 
are  almost  inexhaustible.  Within,  its  vaulted  roof  is  so 
noble,  its  proportions  so  satisfying.  One  should  often  sit 
quietly  here,  in  the  gloom,  and  do  nothing. 

The  little  building  just  across  the  way  was  the  Guild 
House  of  the  Arte  della  Lana,  or  Wool-combers,  and  is  now 
the  head-quarters  of  the  Italian  Dante  Society,  who  hold  a 
conference  every  Thursday  in  the  large  room  over  Ox*  San 
Michele,  gained  by  the  flying  butti-ess-bridga  The  dark 
picture  on  the  outer  wall  is  the  very  Madonna  to  which, 
when  its  position  was  at  the  Mercato  Vecchio,  condemned 
criminals  used  to  pray  on  their  way  to  execution. 

Before  we  leave  Or  San  Michele  and  the  Arte  della  Lana, 
a  word  on  the  guilds  of  Florence  is  necessary,  for  at  a 
period  in  Florentine  history  between,  say,  the  middle  of  the 
thii-teenth  century  and  the  beginning  of  the  fifteenth,  they 
were  the  very  powerful  controllers  of  the  domestic 
affairs  of  the  city ;  and  it  is  possible  that  it  would  have 
been  better  for  the  Florentines  had  they  continued  to  be 
so.  For  Florence  was  essentially  mercantile  and  the  guilds 
were  composed  of  business  men  ;  and  it  is  natural  that 
business  men  should  know  better  than  noblemen  what  a 


business  city  needed.  They  were  divided  into  major  guilds, 
chief  of  which  were  the  woollen  merchants — the  Arte  della 
Lana— and  the  silk  merchants— the  Calimala— and  it  was 
their  pride  to  put  their  riches  at  the  city's  service.  Thus, 
the  Arte  della  Lana  had  charge  of  the  building  of  the 
cathedral.  Each  of  the  major  guilds  provided  a  Prior,  and 
the  Priors  elected  the  Signoria,  who  governed  the  city.  It 
is  one  of  the  principal  charges  that  is  brought  against 
Cosimo  de'  Medici  that  he  broke  the  power  of  the  guilds. 

Returning  to  the  Via  Calzaioli,  and  turning  to  the 
right,  we  come  very  quickly  to  the  Piazza  della  Signoria, 
and  see  before  us,  diagonally  across  it,  the  Loggia  de'  Lanzi 
and  the  Palazzo  Vecchio,  with  the  gleaming,  gigantic 
figure  of  Michelangelo's  David  against  the  dark  gateway. 
This,  more  than  the  Piazza  del  Duomo,  is  the  centre  of 

The  Palazzo  Vecchio  was  for  centuries  called  the  Sig- 
noria, being  the  home  of  the  Gonfalonier  of  Florence  and 
the  Signoria  who  assisted  his  councils.  It  was  begun  by 
Arnolfo,  the  architect  of  the  Duomo  and  S.  Croce,  at  the 
end  of  the  thirteenth  century,  that  being,  as  we  have  seen, 
a  period  of  great  prosperity  and  ambition  in  Florence,  but 
many  alterations  and  additions  were  made — by  Michelozzo, 
Cronaca,  Vasari,  and  others — to  bring  it  to  what  it  now  is. 
After  being  the  scene  of  many  riots,  executions,  and  much 
political  strife  and  dubiety,  it  became  a  ducal  palace  in 
1632,  and  is  now  a  civic  building  and  show-place.  In  the 
old  days  the  Palazzo  had  a  ringhiera,  or  platform,  in  front 
of  it,  from  which  proclamations  were  made.  To  know  what 
this  was  like  one  has  but  to  go  to  S.  Trinita  on  a  very  fine 
morning  and  look  at  Ghirlandaio's  fresco  of  the  granting 
of  the  charter  to  S.  Francis.  The  scene,  painted  in  1485, 
includes  not  only  the  Signoria  but  the  Loggia  de'  Lanzi 


(then  the  Loggia  dell'  Orcagns^ — both  before  any  statues 
were  set  up. 

Every  facade  of  the  Palazzo  Vecchio  is  splendid.  I  can- 
not say  which  I  admire  more — that  which  one  sees  from 
the  Loggia  de'  Lanzi,  with  its  beautiful  coping  of  corbels, 
at  once  so  heavy  and  so  light,  with  coloured  escutcheons 
between  them,  or  that  in  the  Via  de'  Gondi,  with  its  fine 
jumble  of  old  brickwork  among  the  stones.  The  Palazzo 
Vecchio  is  one  x)f  the  most  resolute  and  independent  build- 
ings in  the  world ;  and  it  had  need  to  be  strong,  for  the 
waves  of  Florentine  revolt  were  always  breaking  against  it. 
The  tower  rising  from  this  square  fortress  has  at  once  grace 
and  strength  and  presents  a  complete  conti'ast  to  Giotto's 
campanile ;  for  Giotto's  campanile  is  so  light  and  delicate 
and  reasonable  and  this  tower  of  the  Signoria  so  stern  and 
noble.  There  is  a  difference  as  between  a  beautiful  woman 
and  a  powei'ful  man.  In  the  functions  of  the  two  towers 
— the  dominating  towel's  of  Florence — is  a  wide  difference 
also,  for  the  campanile  calls  to  prayer,  while  for  years  the 
sombre  notes  of  the  great  Signoria  bell—- the  Vacca — rang 
out  only  to  bid  the  citizens  to  conclave  or  battle  or  to 
sound  an  alarm. 

It  was  this  Vacca  which  (with  others)  the  brave  Piero 
Capponi  threatened  to  ring  when  Charles  VIII  wished,  in 
1494,  to  force  a  disgraceful  treaty  on  the  city.  The  scene 
was  the  Medici  Palace  in  the  Via  Larga.  The  paper  was 
ready  for  signature  and  Capponi  would  not  sign.  "  Then  I 
must  bid  my  trumpets  blow,"  said  Charles.  "  If  you  sound 
your  trumpets,"  Capponi  replied,  "  we  will  ring  our  bells ;  " 
and  the  King  gave  way,  for  he  knew  that  his  men  had  no 
chance  in  this  city  if  it  rose  suddenly  against  them. 

But  the  glory  of  the  Palazzo  Vecchio  tower — after  its 
proportions — is  that  brilliant  inspiration  of  the  architect 


which  led  him,  so  to  speak,  to  begin  again  by  setting  the 
four  columns  on  the  top  of  the  solid  portion.  These 
pillars  are  indescribably  right :  so  solid  and  yet  so  light, 
so  powerful  and  yet  so  comely.  Their  duty  was  to  sup- 
port the  bells,  and  particularly  the  Vacca,  when  he  rocked 
his  gigantic  weight  of  green  bronze  to  and  fro  to  warn  the 
city.  Seen  from  a  distance  the  columns  are  always  beauti- 
ful ;  seen  close  by  they  are  each  a  tower  of  comfortable 
strength.  And  how  the  wind  blows  through  them  from 
the  Apennines ! 

The  David  on  the  left  of  the  Palazzo  Vecchio  main  door 
is  only  a  copy.  The  original  stood  there  until  1873,  when, 
after  three  hundred  and  sixty-nine  years,  it  was  moved  to 
a  covered  spot  in  the  Accademia,  as  we  shall  there  see  and 
learn  its  history.  If  we  want  to  know  what  the  Palazzo 
Vecchio  looked  like  at  the  time  David  was  placed  there, 
a  picture  by  Piero  di  Cosimo  in  our  National  Gallery 
tells  us,  for  he  makes  it  the  backgi-ound  of  his  portrait 
of  Ferrucci,  No.  895. 

The  group  on  the  right  represents  Hercules  and  Cacus,^ 
and  is  by  Baccio  Bandinelli  (1485-1560),  a  coai-se  and 
oifensive  man,  jealous  of  most  people  and  pax-ticularly  of 
Michelangelo,  to  whom,  but  for  his  displeasing  Pope 
Clement  VII,  the  block  of  marble  from  v^ich  the  Hercules 
was  carved  would  have  been  given.  Bandinelli  in  his 
delight  at  obtaining  it  vowed  to  surpass  that  master's 
David,  and  those  who  want  to  know  what  Florence  thought 
of  his  effort  should  consult  the  amusing  and  malicious 
pages  of  Cellini's  Autobiography.      On  its  way  to  Bandi- 

'  Cacus,  the  son  of  Vulcan  and  Medusa,  was  a  famous  robber  who 
breathed  fire  and  smoke  and  laid  waste  Italy.  He  made  the  mistake, 
however,  of  robbing  Hercules  of  some  cows,  and  for  this  Hercules 
strangled  him. 


nelli's  studio  the  block  fell  into  the  Arno,  and  it  was  a 
joke  of  the  time  that  it  had  drowned  itself  to  avoid  its  fate 
at  the  sculptor's  hands.  Even  after  he  had  half  done  it, 
there  was  a  moment  when  Michelangelo  had  an  opportunity 
of  taking  over  the  stone  and  turning  it  into  a  Samson,  but 
the  siege  of  Florence  intervened,  and  eventually  Bandinelli 
had  his  way  and  the  hideous  thing  now  on  view  was 

The  lion  at  the  left  end  of  the  facade  is  also  a  copy, 
the  original  by  Donatello  being  in  the  Bargello,  close  by  ; 
but  the  pedestal  is  Donatello's  original.  This  lion  is 
the  Marzocco,  the  legendary  guardian  of  the  Florentine 
republic,  and  it  stood  here  for  four  centuries  and  more, 
superseding  one  which  was  kissed  as  a  sign  of  submission 
by  thousands  of  Pisan  prisoners  in  1364.  The  Florentine 
fleur-de-lis  on  the  pediment  is  very  beautiful.  The  same 
lion  may  be  seen  in  iron  on  his  staff  at  the  top  of  the 
Palazzo  Vecchio  tower,  and  again  on  the  Bargello,  bravely 
flourishing  his  lily  against  the  sky. 

The  great  fountain  with  its  bronze  figures  at  this  corner 
is  by  Bartolommeo  Ammanati,  a  pupil  of  Bandinelli,  and 
the  statue  of  Cosimo  I  is  by  Gian  Bologna,  who  was  the 
best  of  the  post-Michelangelo  sculptoi-s  and  did  much  good 
work  in  Florence,  as  we  shall  see  at  the  Bargello  and  in  the 
Boboli  Gardens.  He  studied  under  Michelangelo  in  Rome. 
Though  born  a  Fleming  and  called  a  Florentine,  his  great 
foimtain  at  Bologna,  which  is  really  a  fine  thing,  has  iden- 
tified his  fame  with  that  city.  Had  not  Ammanati's  design 
better  pleased  Cosimo  I,  the  Bologna  fountain  would  be 
here,  for  it  was  designed  for  this  piazza.  Gian's  best-known 
work  is  the  Flying  Mercury  in  the  Bargello,  which  we 
have  seen,  on  mantelpieces  and  in  shop  windows,  every- 
where; but  what  is  considered   his  masteipiece  is  over 


there,  in  the  Loggia  de'  Lanzi,  the  very  beautiful  building 
on  the  right  of  the  Palazzo,  the  "Rape  of  the  Sabines," 
a  group  which,  to  me,  gives  no  pleasure.  The  bronze  reliefs 
under  the  Cosimo  statue — this  Cosimo  being,  of  course, 
far  other  than  Cosimo  de'  Medici,  Father  of  his  Country : 
Cosimo  I  of  Tuscany,  who  insisted  upon  a  crown  and 
reigned  from  1537  to  1575 — represents  his  assumption  of 
rule  on  the  death  of  Alessandro  in  1537 ;  his  triumphant 
entry  into  Siena  when  he  conquered  it  and  absorbed  it ; 
and  his  reception  of  the  rank  of  Grand  Duke.  Of  Cosimo 
(whom  we  met  in  Chapter  V)  more  will  be  said  when  we 
enter  the  Palazzo  Vecchio. 

Between  this  statue  and  the  Loggia  de'  Lanzi  is  a  bronze 
tablet  let  into  the  paving  which  tells  us  that  it  was  on  this 
very  spot,  in  1498,  that  Savonarola  and  two  of  his  com- 
panions were  put  to  death.  The  ancient  palace  on  the 
Duomo  side  of  the  piazza  is  attributed  in  design  to 
Raphael,  who,  like  most  of  the  great  artists  of  his  time, 
was  also  an  architect  and  was  the  designer  of  the  Palazzo 
Pandolfini  in  the  Via  San  Gallo,  No.  74.  The  Palazzo  we 
are  now  admiring  for  its  blend  of  massiveness  and  beauty 
is  the  Uguccione,  and  anybody  who  wishes  may  prob- 
ably have  a  whole  floor  of  it  to-day  for  a  few  shillings  a 
week.  The  building  which  completes  the  piazza  on  the 
right  of  us,  with  coats  of  arms  on  its  fagade,  is  now  given 
to  the  Board  of  Agiiculture and  has  been  recently  restored. 
It  was  once  a  Court  of  Justice.  The  great  building  at  the 
opposite  side  of  the  piazza,  where  the  trams  start,  is  a 
good  example  of  modern  Florentine  architectui-e  based  on 
the  old :  the  Palazzo  Landi,  built  in  1871  and  now  chiefly 
an  insurance  office.  In  London  we  have  a  more  attractive 
though  smaller  derivative  of  the  gi-eat  days  of  Florentine 
building,  in  Standen's  wool  shop  in  Jermyn  Street. 

THE    Ut;i-IM3IIKU    I'AIM'IM,    iiV    l-Ii(_>\  A ICIJU    UA    \I.\ 

CI     l.N"    'I  HE    VFFI/.1 


The  Piazza  della  Signoria  has  such  riches  that  one  is 
in  danger  of  neglecting  some.  The  Palazzo  Vecchio,  for 
example,  so  overpowers  the  Loggia  de'  Lanzi  in  size  as  to 
draw  the  eye  from  that  perfect  structure.  One  should 
not  allow  this  to  happen  ;  one  should  let  the  Palazzo 
Vecchio's  solid  nobility  wait  awhile  and  concenti'ate  on 
the  beauty  of  Orcagna's  three  arches.  Coming  so  freshly 
from  his  tabernacle  in  Or  San  Michele  we  are  again  re- 
minded of  the  versatility  of  the  early  artists. 

This  structure,  originally  called  the  Loggia  de'  Priori  or 
Loggia  d'Orcagna,  was  built  in  the  fourteenth  century  as 
an  open  place  for  the  delivery  of  proclamations  and  for 
other  ceremonies,  and  also  as  a  shelter  from  the  rain,  the 
last  being  a  purpose  it  still  serves.  It  was  here  that 
Savonarola's  ordeal  by  fire  would  have  had  place  had  it  not 
been  frustrated.  Vasari  also  gives  Orcagna  the  four  sym- 
bolical figures  in  the  recesses  in  the  spandrels  of  the  arches. 
The  Loggia,  which  took  its  new  name  from  the  Swiss 
lancers,  or  lanzi,  that  Cosimo  I  kept  there — he  being  a 
fearful  ruler  and  never  comfortable  without  a  bodyguard — 
is  now  a  recognized  place  of  siesta ;  abd  hither  many  people 
carry  their  poste-restante  correspondence  from  the  neigh- 
bouring post  office  in  the  Uffizi  to  read  in  comfort.  A 
barometer  and  thermometer  are  almost  the  only  novelties 
that  a  visitor  from  the  sixteenth  century  would  notice. 

The  statuai-y  is  both  old  and  new ;  for  here  are  genuine 
antiques  once  in  Ferdinand  I's  Villa  Medici  at  Rome, 
and  such  modem  masterpieces  as  Donatello's  Judith  and 
Holofemes,  Cellini's  Perseus,  and  Gian  Bologna's  two 
muscular  and  restless  groups.  The  best  of  the  antiques  is 
the  Woman  Mourning,  the  fourth  from  the  end  on  the 
left,  which  is  a  superb  creation. 

Donatello's  Judith,  which  gives  me  less  pleasure  than 


any  of  his  work,  both  in  the  statue  and  in  the  relief,  was 
commissioned  for  Cosimo  de'  Medici,  who  placed  it  in 
the  courtyard  or  garden  of  the  Medici  palace — Judith, 
like  David,  by  her  brave  action  against  a  tyrant,  being 
a  champion  of  the  Florentine  republic.  In  1495,  after 
Cosimo's  worthless  grandson  Piero  de'  Medici  had  been 
expelled  from  Florence  and  the  Medici  palace  sacked,  the 
statue  was  moved  to  the  front  of  the  Palazzo  Vecchio,  where 
the  David  now  is,  and  an  inscription  placed  on  it  describing 
it  as  a  warning  to  all  enemies  of  liberty.  This  position 
being  needed  for  Michelangelo's  David,  in  1506,  Judith 
was  moved  to  the  Loggia  to  the  place  where  the  Sabine 
group  now  is.     In  1560  it  took  up  its  present  position. 

Cellini's  Perseus  will  not  quite  do,  I  think,  after  Dona- 
tello  and  Verrocchio ;  but  few  bronzes  are  more  famous, 
and  certainly  of  none  has  so  vivacious  and  exciting  a  story 
been  written  as  Cellini's  own,  setting  forth  his  disappoint- 
ments, mortifications,  and  pride  in  connexion  with  this 
statue.  Cellini,  whatever  one  may  think  of  his  veracity, 
is  a  diverting  and  valuable  wiiter,  and  the  picture 
of  Cosimo  I  which  he  draws  for  us  is  probably  very 
near  the  truth.  We  see  him  haughty,  familiar,  cap- 
ricious, vain,  impulsive,  clear-sighted,  and  easily  flattered  ; 
intensely  pleased  to  be  in  a  position  to  command  the  ser- 
vices of  artists  and  very  unwilling  to  pay.  Cellini  was  a 
blend  of  lackey,  child,  and  genius.  He  left  Francis  I  in 
order  to  serve  Cosimo  and  never  ceased  to  regret  the 
change.  The  Perseus  was  his  greatest  accomplishment  for 
Cosimo,  and  the  narrative  of  its  casting  is  temfic  and 
not  a  little  like  Dumas.  When  it  was  uncovered  in  its  pi-esent 
position  all  Florence  flocked  to  the  Loggia  to  praise  it ;  the 
poets  placed  commendatory  sonnets  on  the  pillai's,  and  the 
sculptor  peacocked  up  and  down  in  an  ecstasy  of  triumph. 


Then,  however,  his  troubles  once  more  began,  for  Cosimo  had 
the  craft  to  force  Cellini  to  name  the  price,  and  we  see  Cellini 
in  an  agony  between  desire  for  enough  and  fear  lest  if  he 
named  enough  he  would  offend  his  patron. 

The  whole  book  is  a  comedy  of  vanity  and  jealousy 
and  Florentine  vigour,  with  Courts  as  a  background.  It 
is  good  to  read  it;  it  is  good,  having  read  it,  to  study 
once  again  the  unfevered  resolute  features  of  Donatello's 
S.  George.  Cellini  himself  we  may  see  among  the  statues 
under  the  Uffizi  and  again  in  the  place  of  honour  (as  a 
goldsmith)  in  the  centre  of  the  Ponte  Vecchio.  Looking 
at  the  Perseus  and  remembering  Donatello,  one  realizes  that 
what  Cellini  wanted  was  character.  He  had  temperament 
enough  but  no  character.  Perseus  is  superb,  commanding, 
distinguished,  and  one  doesn't  care  a  fig  for  it. 

On  entering  the  Palazzo  Vecchio  we  come  instfintly  to 
one  of  the  most  charming  things  in  Florence — VeiTocchio's 
fountain — which  stands  in  the  midst  of  the  courtyard. 
This  adorable  work — a  little  bronze  Cupid  struggling  with 
a  spouting  dolphin — was  made  for  Lorenzo  de'  Medici's 
country  villa  at  Careggi  and  was  brought  here  when  the 
palazzo  was  refurnished  for  Francis  I,  Cosimo  I's  son  and 
successor,  and  his  bride,  Joanna  of  Austi'ia,  in  1665. 
Nothing  could  better  illustrate  the  accomplishment  and 
imaginative  adaptability  of  the  great  craftsmen  of  the  day 
than  the  two  works  of  Verrocchio  that  we  have  now  seen  : 
the  Chiist  and  S.  Thomas  at  Or  San  Michele,  in  Dona- 
tello and  Michelozzo's  niche,  and  this  exquisite  fountain 
splashing  water  so  musically.  Notice  the  rich  decorations  of 
the  pillars  of  this  courtyard  and  the  rich  colour  and  power 
of  the  pillara  themselves.  The  half-obliterated  frescoes  of 
Austrian  towns  on  the  walls  were  made  to  prevent  Joanna 
from  being  homesick,  but  were  more  likely,  one  would  guess, 


to  stimulate  that  malady.  In  the  left  comer  is  the  en- 
trance to  the  old  armoury,  now  empty,  with  openings  in 
the  walls  through  which  pieces  might  be  discharged  at 
various  angles  on  any  advancing  host.  The  groined  ceiling 
could  support  a  pyramid. 

The  Palazzo  Vecchio's  ground  floor  is  a  aeries  of  thorough- 
fares in  which  people  are  passing  continually  amid  huge 
pillars  and  along  dark  passages ;  but  our  way  is  up  the 
stone  steps  immediately  to  the  left  on  leaving  the  Court- 
yard where  Verrocchio's  child  eternally  smiles,  for  the  steps 
take  us  to  that  vast  hall  designed  by  Cronaca  for  Savona- 
rola's Great  Council,  which  was  called  into  being  for  the 
government  of  Florence  after  the  luckless  Piero  de'  Medici 
had  been  banished  in  1494  Here  much  history  was  made. 
As  to  its  structure  and  its  architect,  Vasari,  who  later 
was  called  in  to  restore  it,  has  a  deal  to  say,  but  it  is  too 
technical  for  us.  It  was  built  by  Sitoone  di  PoUaiuolo, 
who  was  known  as  Cronaca  (the  Chronicler)  from  his  vivid 
way  of  telling  his  adventures.  Cronaca  (1454-1608),  who 
was  a  personal  friend  and  devotee  of  Savonarola,  drew  up 
his  plan  in  consultation  with  Leonardo  da  Vinci,  Michel- 
angelo (although  then  so  young :  only  nineteen  or  twenty) 
and  others.  Its  peculiarity  is  that  it  is  one  of  the  largest 
rooms  in  existence  without  pillars.  From  the  foot  of  the 
steps  to  the  further  wall  I  make  it  fifty-eight  paces,  and 
thirty  wide ;  and  the  proportions  strike  the  eye  as  perfect! 
The  wall  behind  the  steps  is  not  at  right  angles  with  the 
others — and  this  must  be  as  peculiar  as  the  absence  of 

Once  there  were  to  be  paintings  here  by  the  greatest  of 
all,  for  masters  no  less  than  Leonardo  and  Michelangelo 
were  commissioned  to  decorate  it,  each  with  a  great  his- 
torical painting :  a  high  honour  for  the  youthful  Michel- 


angelo.  The  loss  of  these  works  is  one  of  the  tragedies  of 
art.  Leoiiardo  chose  for  his  subject  the  battle  of  Anghiari, 
an  incident  of  1440  when  the  Florentines  defeated  Picci- 
nino  and  saved  their  Republic  fi'om  the  Milanese  and 
Visconti.  But  both  the  cartoon  and  the  fresco  have  gone  for 
ever,  and  our  sense  of  loss  is  not  diminished  by  reading  in 
liBonardo's  Thoughts  on  Painting  the  directions  which  he 
wrote  for  the  use  of  artists  who  proposed  to  paint  battles  : 
one  of  the  most  interesting  and  exciting  pieces  of  writing 
in  the  literature  of  art.  Michelangelo's  work,  which  "never 
reached  the  wall  of  the  room,  as  Leonardo's  had  done,  was 
completed  as  a  cartoon  in  1504  to  1506  in  his  studio  in  the 
hospital  of  the  dyers  in  Sant'  Onofrio,  which  is  now  the  Via 
Guelfa.  The  subject  was  also  military :  an  incident  in  the 
long  and  bitter  struggle  between  Florence  and  Pisa,  when 
Sir  John  Hawkwood  (then  in  the  pay  of  the  Pisans,  before 
he  came  over  finally  to  the  Florentines)  attacked  a  body 
of  Florentines  who  were  bathing  in  the  river.  The  scene 
gave  the  young  artist  scope  both  for  his  power  of  delineat- 
ing a  spirited  incident  and  for  his  drawing  of  the  nude, 
and  those  who  saw  it  said  of  this  work  that  it  was  finer 
than  anything  the  painter  ever  did.  While  it  was  in  pro- 
gress all  the  young  artists  came  to  Sant'  Onofrio  to  study 
it,  as  they  and  its  ci'eator  had  before  flocked  to  the  Car- 
mine, where  Masaccio's  frescoes  had  for  three-quarters  of 
a  century  been  object-lessons  to  students. 

What  became  of  the  cartoon  is  not  definitely  known, 
but  Vasari's  story  is  that  BandineUi,  the  sculptor  of  the 
Hercules  and  Cacus  outside  the  Palazzo,  who  was  one  of 
the  most  diligent  copyists  of  the  cartoon  after  it  was 
placed  in  a  room  in  this  building,  had  the  key  of  the  door 
counterfeited,  and,  obtaining  entrance  during  a  moment  of 
tumult,  destroyed  the  picture.    The  reasons  given  are :  (1, 


and  a  very  poor  one)  that  he  desired  to  own  the  pieces  ; 
(2)  that  he  wished  to  deprive  other  and  rival  students  of 
the  advantage  of  copying  it ;  (3)  that  he  wanted  Leonardo 
to  be  the  only  painter  of  the  Palazzo  to  be  considered ; 
and  (4,  and  sufficient)  that  he  hated  Michelangelo.  At 
this  time  Bandinelli  could  not  have  been  more  than 
eighteen.     Vasari's  story  is  uncorroborated. 

Leonardo's  battle  merely  perished,  being  done  in  some 
fugitive  medium ;  and  the  walls  are  now  covered  with  the 
works  of  Vasari  himself  and  his  pupils  and  do  not  matter, 
while  the  ceiling  is  a  muddle  of  undistinguished  paint. 
There  are  many  statues  which  also  do  not  matter ;  but 
at  the  raised  end  is  Leo  X,  son  of  Lorenzo  the  Magnificent, 
and  the  first  Medici  Pope,  and  at  the  other  a  colossal 
modem  statue  of  Savonarola,  who  was  in  person  the  domi- 
nating influence  here  for  the  years  between  1494  and  1497 ; 
who  is  to  many  the  central  figure  in  the  history  of  this 
building;  and  whose  last  night  on  earth  was  spent  with 
his  companions  in  this  very  room.  But  to  him  we  come 
in  the  chapter  on  S.  Marco. 

Many  rooms  in  the  Palazzo  are  to  be  seen  only  on 
special  occasions,  but  the  great  hall  is  always  accessible. 
Certain  rooms  upstains,  mostly  with  rich  red  and  yellow 
flooi's,  are  also  visible  daily,  all  interesting ;  but  most 
notable  is  the  Salle  de  Lys,  with  its  lovely  blue  walls  of 
lilies,  its  glorious  ceiling  of  gold  and  roses,  Ghirlandaio's 
fresco  of  S.  Zenobius,  and  the  perfect  marble  doorway 
containing  the  wooden  doors  of  Giuliano  and  Benedetto 
da  Maiano,  with  the  heads  of  Dante  and  Petrarch  in  in- 
tarsia.  Note  the  figures  of  Charity  and  Temperance  in 
the  doorway  and  the  charming  youthful  Baptist. 

In  Eleanor  of  Toledo's  dining-room  there  are  some  rich 
and  elaborate  gi'een  jugs  which  I  remember  very  clearly 


and  also  the  ceiling  of  her  workroom  with  its  choice 
of  Penelope  as  the  presiding  genius.  Both  Eleanor's 
chapel  and  that  in  which  Savonarola  prayed  before  his 
execution  are  shown. 

But  the  most  populaa*  room  of  all  with  visitors — and 
quite  naturally — ^is  the  little  boudoiresque  study  of 
Francis  I,  with  its  voluptuous  ladies  on  the  ceiling  and 
the  secret  treasure-room  leading  from  it,  while  on  the 
way,  just  outside  the  door,  is  a  convenient  oubliette  into 
which  to  push  any  inconvenient  visitor. 

The  loggia,  which  Mr.  Morley  has  painted  from  the 
Via  Castellani,  is  also  always  accessible,  and  from  it  one  has 
one  of  those  pleasant  views  of  warm  roofs  in  which  Florence 

One  of  the  most  attractive  oi  the  smaller  rooms  usually 
on  view  is  that  one  which  leads  from  the  lily-room  and  con- 
tains nothing  but  maps  of  the  world  :  the  most  decorative 
things  conceivable,  next  to  Chinese  paintings.  Looking 
naturally  for  Sussex  on  the  English  map,  I  found  Winchelsey, 
Battel,  Rye,  Lewes,  Sorham,  Aronde,  and  Cicestra. 

Fi'om  the  map-room  a  little  room  is  gained  where  the 
debates  in  the  Great  Council  Hall  might  be  secretly 
overheard  by  interested  eavesdroppers,  but  in  particular 
by  Cosimo  L  A  part  of  the  cornice  has  holes  in  it  for  this 
purpose,  but  on  regaining  the  hall  itself  I  found  that  the 
disparity  in  the  pattern  was  perfectly  evident  even  to  my 
eye,  so  that  every  one  in  those  suspicious  days  must  have 
been  aware  of  the  listener. 

The  tower  should  cei-tainly  be  ascended — not  only  for 
the  view  and  to  be  so  near  the  bells  and  the  pillars,  but 
also  for  historic  associations.  After  a  little  way  we  come 
to  the  cell  where  Cosimo  de'  Medici,  later  to  be  the  Father 
of  his  Country,  was  imprisoned,  before  that  exile  which 


ended  in  recall  and  triumph  in  1433.  This  cell,  although 
not  exactly  "  a  home  from  home,"  is  possible.  What  is  to 
be  said  of  that  other,  some  thousands  of  steps  (as  it  seems) 
higher,  where  Savonarola  was  kept  for  forty  days,  varied  only 
by  intervals  of  torture  ?  For  Savonarola's  cell,  which  is  very 
near  the  top,  is  nothing  but  a  recess  in  the  wall  with  a  door 
to  it.  It  cannot  be  more  than  five  feet  wide  and  eight  feet 
long,  with  an  open  loophole  to  the  wind.  If  a  man  were 
here  for  forty  days  and  then  pardoned  his  life  would  be  worth 
very  little.  A  bitter  eyrie  from  which  to  watch  the  city 
one  had  lisked  all  to  reform.  What  thoughts  must  have 
been  his  in  that  trap  !  What  reviews  of  policy  !  What 
illuminations  as  to  Florentine  character  ! 



The  growth  of  a  gallery — Vasari's  Fassaggio — Cosimo  I — Francis  I — 
Ferdinand  I — Ferdinand  II — Cosimo  III — ^Anna  Maria  Ludovica  de'  Medici 
— Pietro-Leopoldo — The  statues  of  the  facade — Art,  literature,  arms, 
science,  and  learning — The  omissions — Florentine  rapacity — An  antique 
custom — Window  views — The  Uffizi  drawings — The  best  picture. 

THE  foreigner  should  understand  at  once  that  any 
inquiries  into  the  histoiy  of  the  Uffizi  family — such 
as  for  example  yield  interesting  results  in  the  case  of  the 
Pazzi  and  the  Albizzi — are  doomed  to  failure ;  because 
Uffizi  mei'ely  means  offices.  The  Palaziio  degli  Uffizi,  or 
palace  of  offices,  was  built  by  Vasari,  the  biogi-apher 
of  the  artists,  for  Cosimo  I,  who  having  taken  the 
Sighoria,  or  Palazzo  Vecchio,  for  his  own  home,  wished  to 
provide  another  building  for  the  municipal  government. 
It  was  begun  in  1560  and  still  so  far  fulfils  its  original  pur- 
pose as  to  contain  the  general  post  office,  while  it  also  houses 
certain  Tuscan  archives  and  the  national  library. 

A  glance  at  Piero  di  Cosimo's  portrait  of  Ferrucci  in 
our  National  Gallery  will  show  that  an  ordinary  Florentine 
street  preceded  the  erection  of  the  Uffizi.  At  that  time 
the  top  storey  of  the  building,  as  it  now  exists,  was  an 
open  teiTace  affijrding  a  pleasant  promenade  from  the 
Palazzo  Vecchio  down  to  the  liver  and  back  to  the  Loggia 
de'   Lanzi.      Beneath   this   were  studios  and   workrooms 



where  Cosimo's  array  of  artists  and  craftsmen  (with  Bron- 
zino  and  Cellini  as  the  most  famous)  were  kept  busy ;  while 
the  public  offices  were  on  the  ground  floor.  Then,  as  his 
family  increased,  Cosimo  decided  to  move,  and  the  incomplete 
and  abandoned  Pitti  Palace  was  bought  and  finished.  In 
1565,  as  we  have  seen,  Francis,  Cosimo's  son,  mariied  and 
was  installed  in  the  Palazzo  Vecchio,  and  it  was  then  that 
Vasari  was  called  upon  to  construct  the  Passaggio  which 
unites  the  Palazzo  Vecchio  and  the  Pitti,  crossing  the 
river  by  the  Ponte  Vecchio — Cosimo's  idea  (borrowed  it 
is  said  from  Homer's  description  of  the  passage  uniting 
the  palaces  of  Priam  and  Hector)  being  not  only  that  he 
and  his  son  might  have  access  to  each  other,  but  that  in 
the  event  of  danger  on  the  other  side  of  the  river  a  body 
of  soldiers  could  be  swiftly  and  secretly  mobilized  there. 

Cosimo  I  died  in  1574,  and  Francis  I  (1574-1587)  suc- 
ceeded him  not  only  in  rule  but  in  that  patronage  of 
the  arts  which  was  one  of  the  finest  Medicean  traditions ; 
and  it  was  he  who  first  thought  of  making  the  Uffizi  a 
picture  gallery.  To  do  this  was  simple  :  it  merely  meant 
the  loss  of  part  of  the  tetrace  by  walling  and  roofing  it  in. 
Ferdinand  I  (1587-1609)  added  the  pretty  Tribuna  and 
other  rooms,  and  brought  hither  a  number  of  the  treasures 
from  the  Villa  Medici  at  Rome.  Cosimo  11  (1609-1621)  did 
little,  but  Ferdinard  II  (1621-1670)  completed  the  roofing 
in  of  the  terraces,  placed  there  his  own  collection  of  draw- 
ings and  a  valuable  collection  of  Venetian  pictures  which 
he  had  bought,  together  with  those  that  his  wife  Vittoria 
della  Rovere  had  brought  him  from  Urbino,  while  his 
brothers,  Cardinal  Giovanni  Carlo  de'  Medici  and  Cardinal 
Leopoldo  de'  Medici  (the  extremely  ugly  man  with  the 
curling  chin,  at  the  head  of  the  Uflizi  stairs),  added  theirs. 
Giovanni  Carlo's  pictures,  which  mostly  w^ent  to  the  Pitti 

MAI>0-\-\A    AM'    CHll  b 
THK    I"AI\TIMj    VA'    I.UlA    SK.MJKIil.l.I     IN     llll_    L  1-  I 


were  varied ;  but  Leopold's  were  chiefly  porti'aits  (rf  artists, 
wherever  possible  painted  by  themselves,  a  collection  which 
is  steadily  being  added  to  at  the  present  time  and  is  to 
be  seen  in  several  rooms  of  the  Uffizi,  and  those  minia- 
ture portraits  of  men  of  eminence  which  we  shall  see  in 
the  corridor  between  the  Poccetti  Gallery  and  Salon  of 
Justice  at  the  Pitti.  Cosimo  III  (1670-1723)  added  the 
Dutch  pictures  and  the  famous  Venus  de'  Medici  and 
other  Tribuna  statuary. 

The  galleries  remained  the  private  property  of  the 
Medici  family  until  the  Electress  Palatine,  Anna  Maria 
Ludovica  de'  Medici,  daughter  of  Cosimo  III  and  great 
niece  of  the  Cardinal  Leopold,  bequeathed  all  these  trea- 
sures, to  which  she  had  greatly  added,  together  with 
bronzes  now  in  the  Bargello,  Etruscan  antiquities  now  in 
the  Archaeological  Museum,  tapestries  also  there,  and 
books  in  the  Laurentian  library,  to  Florence  for  ever, 
on  condition  that  they  should  never  be  removed  from 
Florence  and  should  exist  for  the  benefit  of  the  public. 
Her  death  was  in  1743,  and  with  her  passed  away  the  last 
descendant  of  that  Giovanni  de'  Medici  (1360-1429)  whom 
we  saw  giving  commissions  to  Donatello,  building  the 
children's  hospital,  and  helping  Florence  to  the  best  of 
his  power :  so  that  the  first  Medici  and  the  last  were  akin 
in  love  of  art  and  in  generosity  to  their  beautiful  city. 

The  new  Austrian  Grand  Dukes  continued  to  add  to 
the  Uffizi,  particularly  Pietro-Leopoldo  (1765-1790),  who 
also  founded  the  Accademia.  To  him  was  due  the  as- 
sembling, under  the  Uffizi  roof,  of  all  the  outlying  pictures 
then  belonging  to  the  State,  including  those  in  the  gallery 
of  the  hospital  of  S.  Maria  Nuova,  which  owned,  among 
others,  the  famous  Hugo  van  der  Goes.  It  was  he  also 
who  brought  together  from  Rome  the  Niobe  statues  and 


constructed  a  room  for  them.  Leopold  II  added  the 

It  was  as  recently  as  1842  to  1856  that  the  statues  of 
the  great  Florentines  were  placed  in  the  portico.  These, 
beginning  at  the  Palazzo  Vecchio,  are,  fii-st,  against  the 
inner  wall,  Cosimo  Pater  (1889-1464)  and  Lorenzo  the 
Magnificent  (1450-1492) ;  then,  outside :  Orcagna ;  Andrea 
Pisano,  of  the  first  Baptistery  doox-s ;  Giotto  and  Donatello ; 
Aiberti,  who  could  do  everything  and  who  designed  the 
facade  of  S.  Maria  Novella ;  Leonardo  and  Michelangelo. 
Next,  three  poets,  Dante  (1265-1321),  Francesco  Petrarca 
(1304-1374),  and  Giovanni  Boccaccio  (1313-1375).  Then 
Niccolo  Machiavelli  (1469-1527),  the  statesman,  and 
Francesco  Guicciardini  (1482-1540),  the  historian.  That 
completes  the  firet  side. 

At  the  end  are  Amerigo  Vespucci  (1451-1516),  the  ex- 
plorer, who  gave  his  name  to  America,  and  Galileo  Galilei 
(1664-1642),  the  astronomer ;  and  above  is  Cosimo  I,  the 
first  Grand  Duke. 

On  the  Uffizi's  river  fagade  are  four  figures  only — and 
hundreds  of  swallows'  nests.  The  figures  are  Francesco 
Ferrucci,  who  died  in  1530,  the  general  painted  by  Piei-o  di 
Cosimo  in  our  National  Gallery,  who  recaptured  Volten-a 
from  Pope  Clement  VII  in  1529;  Giovanni  delle  Bande 
Nere  (1500-1527),  father  of  Cosimo  I,  and  a  great  fighting 
man  ;  Piero  Capponi,  who  died  in  1496,  and  delivered 
Florence  from  Charles  VIII  in  1494,  by  threatening  to 
ring  the  city  bells ;  and  Farinata  degli  Uberti,  an  earlier 
soldier,  who  died  in  1264  and  is  in  the  "  Divina  Commedia  " 
as  a  hero.  It  was  he  who  repulsed  the  Ghibelline  sugges- 
tion that  Florence  should  be  destroyed  and  the  inhabitants 
emigi'ate  to  Empoli. 

Working  baxik  towards  the  Loggia  de'  Lanzi  we  find 


less-known  names :  Pietro  Antonio  Michele  (1679-1737), 
the  botanist ;  Francesco  Redi  (1626-1697),  a  poet  and  a 
man  of  science ;  Paolo  Mascagni  (1732-1815),  the  anatom- 
ist; Andrea  Cesalpino  (1519-1603),  the  philosopher;  S. 
Antonio  (died  1461),  Prior  of  the  Convent  of  S.  Mai'co  and 
Archbishop  of  Florence ;  Francesco  Accorso  (1182-1229), 
the  jurist ;  Guido  Aretino  (eleventh  century),  musician ;  and 
Benvenuto  Cellini  (1500-1572),  the  goldsmith  and  sculptor. 
The  most  notable  omissions  are  Arnolfo  and  Brunelleschi 
(but  these  are,  as  we  have  seen,  on  the  fagade  of  the  Palazzo 
de'  Canonici,  opposite  the  south  side  of  the  cathedral), 
Ghiberti,  Fra  Angelico,  and  Savonarola.  Pei-sonally  I 
should  like  to  have  still  others  here,  among  them  Giorgio 
Vasari,  in  recognition  of  his  enthusiastic  and  entei-taining 
biographies  of  the  Florentine  artists,  to  say  nothing  of  the 
circumstance  that  he  designed  this  building. 

Before  we  enter  any  Florentine  gallery  let  me  say  that 
there  is  only  one  free  day  and  that  the  crowded  Sabbath. 
Admittance  to  nearly  all  is  a  lira.  Moreover,  there  is  no 
re-admission.  The  chai'ge  strikes  English  visitors,  accus- 
tomed to  the  open  portals  of  their  own  museums  and 
galleries,  as  an  outrage,  and  it  explains  also  the  little 
interest  in  their  treasures  which  most  Florentines  display, 
for  being  essentially  a  frugal  people  they  have  seldom  seen 
them.  Visitors  who  can  satisfy  the  authorities  that  they 
are  desirous  of  studying  the  works  of  ai-t  with  a  serious 
purpose  can  obtain  free  passes  ;  but  only  after  certain  pre- 
liminaries, which  include  a  seance  with  a  photographer 
to  satisfy  the  doorkeeper,  by  comparing  the  real  and 
counterfeit  physiognomies,  that  no  illicit  transference  of 
the  precious  privilege  has  been  made.  Italy  is,  one 
knows,  not  a  rich  countiy;  but  the  revenue  which  the 
gallery  entrance-fees  represent  cannot  reach  any  great" 


volume,  and  such  as  it  is  it  had  much  better,  I  should  say, 
be  raised  by  other  means.  Meanwhile,  the  foreigner  chiefly 
pays  it.  What  Giovanni  de'  Medici  and  Lorenzo  de' 
Medici,  and— even  more— what  Anna  Maria  Ludovica  de' 
Medici,  who  bequeathed  to  the  State  these  possessions, 
would  think  could  they  see  this  feverish  and  implacable 
pursuit  of  pence,  I  have  not  imagination,  or  scom,  enough 
to  set  down. 

Infirm  and  languid  visitors  should  get  it  clearly  into  their 
heads  (1)  that  the  tour  of  the  UfEzi  means  a  long  walk  and 
(2)  that  there  is  a  lift.  You  find  it  in  the  umbrella  room 
— at  every  Florentine  gallery  and  museum  is  an  official 
whose  one  object  in  life  is  to  take  away  your  umbrella — 
and  it  costs  twopence-halfpenny  and  is  worth  far  more. 
But  walking  downstairs  is  imperative,  because  otherwise 
one  would  miss  Silenus  and  Bacchus,  and  a  beautiful  urgent 
Mars,  in  bronze,  together  with  other  fine  sculptured 

One  of  the  quaintest  symbols  of  conservatism  in  Florence 
is  the  scissors  of  the  officials  who  supply  tickets  of  entrance- 
Apparently  the  perforated  line  is  unknown  in  Italy  ;  hence 
the  ticket  is  divided  from  its  counterfoil  (which  I  assume 
goes  to  the  authorities  in  order  that  they  may  check  their 
horrid  takings)  by  a  huge  pair  of  shears.  These  things 
are  snip-snapping  all  over  Italy,  all  day  long.  Having  ob- 
tained your  ticket  you  hand  it  to  another  official  at  a  turn- 
stile, and  at  last  you  are  free  of  cupidity  and  red  tape  and 
may  breathe  easily  again  and  examine  the  products  of  the 
light-hearted,  generous  Renaissance  in  the  right  spirit. 

One  should  never  forget,  in  any  gallery  of  Florence,  to 
look  out  of  the  windows.  There  is  always  a  courtyard,  a 
street,  or  a  spire  against  the  sky  ;  and  at  the  Uffizi  there 
are  the  river  and  bridges  and  mountains.    From  the  loggia 


of  the  Palazzo  Vecchio  I  once  saw  a  woman  with  some 
twenty  or  thirty  city  pigeons  on  the  table  of  her  little 
room,  feeding  them  with  maize. 

Except  for  glimpses  of  the  river  and  the  Via  Guicciardini 
which  it  gives,  I  advise  no  one  to  walk  through  the  passage 
uniting  the  Pitti  and  the  Uffizi — unless  of  course  bent  on 
catching  some  of  the  ancient  thrill  when  aimed  men  ran 
swiftly  fi'om  one  palace  to  the  other  to  quell  a  disturbance  or 
repulse  an  assault.  Particularly  does  this  counsel  apply  to 
wet  days,  when  all  the  windows  are  closed  and  there  is  no 
air.  A  certain  interest  attaches  to  the  myriad  portx'aits 
which  line  the  walls,  chiefly  of  the  Medici  and  comparatively 
recent  worthies ;  but  one  must  have  a  glutton's  passion 
either  for  paint  or  histoi-y  to  wish  to  examine  these.  As  a 
matter  of  fact,  only  a  lightning-speed  tourist  could  possibly 
think  of  seeing  both  the  Uffizi  and  the  Pitti  on  the  same 
day,  and  therefore  the  need  of  the  passage  disappears.  It 
is  hard  worked  only  on  Sundays. 

The  drawings  in  the  cases  in  the  first  long  conndor  are 
worth  close  study — covering  as  they  do  the  whole  range 
of  great  Italian  art :  from,  say,  Uccello  to  Carlo  Dolci. 
But  as  they  are  from  time  to  time  changed  it  is  useless  to 
say  more  of  them.  There  is  also  on  the  first  landing  of  the 
staircase  a  room  in  which  exhibitions  of  drawings  of  the 
Old  Masters  are  held,  and  this  is  worth  knowing  about, 
not  only  because  of  the  riches  of  the  portfolios  in  the 
collection,  but  also  because  once  you  have  passed  the  dooi-s 
you  are  inside  the  only  picture  gaUery  in  Florence  for 
which  no  entrance  fee  is  asked.  How  the  authorities  have 
come  to  overlook  this  additional  source  of  revenue,  I  have 
no  notion;  but  they  have,  and  visitors  should  hasten  to 
make  the  most  of  it  for  fear  that  a  translation  of  these 
words  of  mine  may  wander  into  bad  hands. 


To  name  the  most  wonderful  picture  in  the  Uffizi  would 
be  a  very  difficult  task.  At  the  Accademia,  if  a  plebiscite 
were  taken,  there  is  little  doubt  but  that  Botticelli's 
"  Primavera  "  would  win.  At  the  Pitti  I  personally  would 
name  Giorgione's  "Concert"  without  any  hesitation  at 
all ;  but  probably  the  public  vote  would  go  to  Raphael's 
"Madonna  della  Sedia".  But  the  Uffizi  ?  Here  we  are 
amid  such  wealth  of  masterpieces,  and  yet  when  one 
comes  to  pass  them  in  review  in  memory  none  stands  out 
as  those  other  two  I  have  named.  Perhaps  Botticelli 
would  win  again,  with  his  "  Birth  of  Venus  ".  Were  the 
Leonardo  finished  .  .  .  but  it  is  only  a  sketch.  Luca 
Signorelli's  wild  flowers  in  No.  74  seem  to  abide  with  me 
as  vividly  and  graciously  as  anything ;  but  they  are  but 
a  detail  and  it  is  a  very  personal  predilection.  Perhaps 
the  great  exotic  work  painted  far  away  in  Belgium — the 
Van  der  Goes  triptych — is  the  most  memorable ;  but  to 
choose  an  alien  canvas  is  to  break  the  rules  of  the  game. 
Is  it  perhaps  the  unfinished  Leonardo  after  all  ?  If  not, 
and  not  the  Botticelli,  it  is  beyond  question  that  lovely 
adoring  Madonna,  so  gentle  and  sweet,  against  the  purest 
and  bluest  of  Tuscan  skies,  which  is  attributed  to  Filippino 
Lippi :  No.  1354. 



Lorenzo  Monaco — Fra  Angelico — Maiiotto  Albertinelli  turns  innkeeper 
— The  Venetian  rooms — Giorgione's  death — Titian — Mantegna  uniting 
north  and  south — Giovanni  Bellini — Domenico  Ghirlandaio — Michel- 
angelo— Luca   Signorelli — ^Wild   flowers — Leonardo    da    Vinci-^PaoIo 


THE  firet  and  second  rooms  are  Venetian  ;  but  I  am 
inclined  to  think  that  it  is  better  to  take  the  second 
door  on  the  left — the  first  Tuscan  salon — and  walking 
straight  across  it  come  at  once  to  the  Salon  of  Lorenzo 
Monaco  and  the  primitives.  For  the  earliest  good  pictures 
are  here.  Here  especially  one  should  remember  that  the 
pictures  were  painted  never  for  a  gallery  but  for  churches. 
Lorenzo  Monaco  (Lawrence  the  Monk,  1370-c.  1425),  who 
gives  his  name  to  this  room,  was  a  monk  of  the  Camal- 
dolese  order  in  the  Monastery  of  the  Angeli,  and  was  a 
little  eai'lier  than  Fra  Angelico  (the  Angelic  Brother), 
the  more  famous  painting  monk,  whose  dates  are  1387-1 455. 
Lorenzo  was  influenced  by  Taddeo  Gaddi,  Giotto's  godson, 
friend,  pupil,  and  assistant.  His  greatest  work  is  this 
large  Uffizi  altar-piece  —  he  painted  nothing  but  altar- 
pieces — depicting  the  Coronation  of  the  Virgin  :  a  great 
gay  scene  of  splendour,  containing  pretty  angels  who 
must  have  been  the  delight  of  children  in  church.  The 
predeUa — and  here  let  me  advise  the  visitor  never  to  over- 
look  the  predellas,  where  the  artist   often  throws  oif 


118    THE  UFFIZI  11:    THE  FIRST  SIX  ROOMS 

formality  and  allows  his  more  natural  feelings  to  have 
play,  almost  as  though  he  painted  the  picture  for  others 
and  the  predella  for  himself— is  peculiarly  interesting. 
Look,  at  the  left,  at  the  death  of  an  old  Saint  attended 
by  monks  and  nuns,  whose  grief  is  profound.  One  other 
good  Lorenzo  is  here,  an  "  Adoration  of  the  Magi,"  No.  39, 
a  little  out  of  drawing  but  full  of  life. 

But  for  most  people  the  glory  of  the  room  is  not 
Lorenzo  the  Monk,  but  Brother  Giovanni  of  Fiesole, 
known  ever  more  as  Beato,  or  Fra,  Angelico.  Of  that 
most  adoring  and  most  adorable  of  painters  I  say  much 
in  the  chapter  on  the  Accademia,  where  he  is  very  fully 
represented,  and  it  might  perhaps  be  well  to  turn  to  those 
pages  (227-230)  and  read  here,  on  our  firet  sight  of  his 
genius,  what  is  said.  Two  Angelicos  are  in  this  room — 
the  great  triptych,  opposite  the  chief  Lorenzo,  and  the 
"Crowning  of  the  Virgin,"  on  an  easel.  The  triptych  is  as 
much  copied  as  any  picture  in  the  gallery,  not,  however,  for 
its  principal  figures,  but  for  the  border  of  twelve  angels 
round  the  centre  panel.  Angelico's  benignancy  and  sweet- 
ness are  here,  but  it  is  not  the  equal  of  the  "  Coronation," 
which  is  a  blaze  of  pious  fervour  and  glory.  The  group 
of  saints  on  the  right  is  very  charming ;  but  we  are  to  be 
more  pleased  by  this  radiant  hand  when  we  reach  the 
Accademia.  Already,  however,  we  havq  learned  his  love 
of  blue.  Another  altar-piece  with  a  subtle  quality  of  its 
own  is  the  early  Annunciation  by  Simone  Martini  of  Siena 
(128S-1344)  and  Lippo  Memmi,  his  brother-in-law  (d. 
1357),  in  which  the  angel  speaks  his  golden  words  across 
the  picture  through  a  vase  of  lilies,  and  the  Virgin  receives 
them  shrinkingly.  It  is  all  very  primitive,  but  it  has  great 
attraction,  and  it  is  interesting  to  think  that  the  picture 
must  be  getting  on  for  six  hundred  years  of  age.     This 



Simone  was  a  pupil  of  Giotto  and  the  painter  of  a  portrait 
of  Petrarch's  Laura,  now  preserved  in  the  Laurentian 
library,  which  earned  him  two  sonnets  of  eulogy.  It  is 
also  two  Sienese  painters  who  have  made  the  gayest 
thing  in  this  room,  the  predella,  No.  1304,  by  Neroccio  di 
Siena  (1447-1500)  and  Francesco  di  Giorgio  di  Siena 
(1439-1502),  containing  scenes  in  the  life  of  S.  Benedetto. 
Neroccio  did  the  landscape  and  figures;  the  other  the 
architecture,  and  very  fine  it  is.  Another  delightful 
predella  is  that  by  Benozzo  Gozzoli  (1420-1498),  Fi-a 
Angelico's  pupil,  whom  we  have  seen  at  the  Riccardi 
palace.  Gozzoli's  predella  is  No.  1302.  Finally,  look  at 
No.  64,  which  shows  how  prettily  certain  imitators  of  Fra 
Angelico  could  paint. 

After  the  Sala  di  Lorenzo  Monaco  let  us  enter  the  first 
Tuscan  room.  The  draughtsmanship  of  the  great  Last 
Judgment  fresco  by  Fra  Bai-tolommeo  (1475-1517)  and 
Mariotto  Albertinelli  (1474-1515)  is  veiy  fine.  It  is  now 
a  ruin,  but  enough  remains  to  show  that  it  must  have 
been  impressive.  These  collaborators,  although  intimate 
friends,  ultimately  went  different  ways,  for  Fra  Bartolom- 
meo  came  under  the  influence  of  Savonarola,  burned  his  nude 
drawings,  and  entered  the  Convent  of  S.  Marco ;  whereas 
Albertinelli,  who  was  a  convivial  follower  of  Venus,  tiring 
of  art  and  even  more  of  art  jargon,  took  an  inn  outside  the 
S.  Gallo  gate  and  a  tavern  on  the  Ponte  Vecchio,  remark- 
ing that  he  had  found  a  way  of  life  that  needed  no 
knowledge  of  muscles,  foreshortening,  or  pei-spective,  and 
better  still,  was  without  critics.  Among  his  pupils  was 
Franciabigio,  whose  lovely  Madonna  of  the  Well  we  are 
coming  to  in  the  Tribuna. 

Chief  among  the  other  pictures  are  two  by  the  delight- 
ful Alessio  Baldovinetti,  the  master  of  Domenico  Ghir- 


landaio,  Nos.  60  and  56 ;  and  a  large  early  altar-piece  by  the 
brothers  Orcagna,  painted  in  1367  for  S.  Maria  Nuova,  now 
the  principal  hospital  of  Florence  and  once  the  home  of 
many  beautiful  pictures.  This  work  is  rather  dingy  now, 
but  it  is  interesting  as  coming  in  part  from  the  hand  that 
designed  the  tabernacle  in  Or  San  Michele  and  the  Loggia 
de'  Lanzi.  Another  less-known  painter  represented  heie  is 
Francesco  Granacci  (1469-1543),  the  author  of  Nos.  1541 
and  1280,  both  rich  and  warm  and  pleasing.  Granacci  was 
a  fellow-pupil  of  Michelangelo  both  in  Lorenzo  de'  Medici's 
garden  and  in  Ghirlandaio's  workshop,  and  the  bosom  friend 
of  that  great  man  all  his  life.  Like  Piero  di  Cosimo, 
Granacci  was  a  great  hand  at  pageantry,  and  Lorenzo  de' 
Medici  kept  him  busy.  He  was  not  dependent  upon  art 
for  his  living,  but  painted  for  love  of  it,  and  Vasari  makes 
him  a  very  agi-eeable  man. 

Here  too  is  Gio.  Antonio  Sogliani  (1492-1544),  also  a 
rare  painter,  with  a  finely  coloured  and  finely  drawn  "  Dis- 
puta,"  No.  63.  This  painter  seems  to  have  had  the  same 
devotion  to  his  master,  Lorenzo  di  Credi,  that  di  Credi 
had  for  his  mastei-,  VeiTocchio.  Vasari  calls  Sogliani  a 
worthy  religious  man  who  minded  his  own  affairs — a  good 
epitaph.  His  work  is  rarely  met  with  in  Florence,  but  he 
has  a  large  fresco  at  S.  Marco.  Lorenzo  di  Credi  (1459- 
1537)  himself  has  two  pretty  circular  paintings  here,  of 
which  No.  1528  is  particularly  sweet:  "The  Virgin  and 
Child  with  St.  John  and  Angels,"  all  comfortable  and  happy 
in  a  Tuscan  meadow ;  while  on  an  easel  is  another  circular 
picture,  by  Pacchiarotto  (1477-1535).  This  has  good 
colour  and  twilight  beauty,  but  it  does  not  touch  one  and 
is  not  too  felicitously  composed.  Over  the  door  to  the 
Venetian  room  is  a  Cosimo  Rosselli  with  a  prettily  affec- 
tionate Madonna  and  Child. 


Fi'om  this  miscellaneous  Tuscan  room  we  pass  to  the 
two  rooms  which  contain  the  Venetian  pictures,  of  which  I 
shall  say  less  than  might  perhaps  be  expected,  not  because 
I  do  not  intensely  admire  them  but  because  I  feel  that  the 
chief  space  in  a  Florentine  book  should  be  given  to  Floren- 
tine or  Tuscan  things.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  I  find  myself 
when  in  the  Uffizi  continually  drawn  to  revisit  these  walls. 
The  chief  treasures  are  the  Titians,  the  Giorgiones,  the 
Mantegnas,  the  Caipaccio,  and  the  Bellini  allegory.  These 
alone  would  make  the  Uffizi  a  Mecca  of  connoisseurs. 
Giorgione  is  to  be  found  in  his  richest  perfection'at  the  Pitti, 
in  his  one  unforgettable  work  that  is  preserved  there,  but 
here  he  is  wonderful  too,  with  his  Cavalier  of  Malta,  black 
and  golden,  and  the  two  rich  scenes,  Nos.  621  and  630, 
nominally  from  Scriptui-e,  but  really  from  romantic  Italy. 
To  me  these  three  pictures  are  the  jewels  of  the  Venetian 
collection.  To  desci-ibe  them  is  impossible :  enough  to 
say  that  some  glowing  genius  produced  them ;  and  what- 
ever the  experts  admit,  pereonally  I  prefer  to  consider  that 
genius  Giorgione.  Giorgione,  who  was  bom  in  1477  and 
died  young — at  thirty-three — was,  like  Titian,  the  pupil 
of  Bellini,  but  was  gi'eatly  influenced  by  Leonardo  da  Vinci. 
Later  he  became  Titian's  master.  He  was  passionately  de- 
voted to  music  and  to  ladies,  and  it  was  indeed  from  a  lady 
that  he  had  his  early  death,  for  he  continued  to  kiss  her 
after  she  had  taken  the  plague.  (No  bad  way  to  die, 
either ;  for  to  be  in  the  power  of  an  emotion  that  sways 
one  to  such  foolishness  is  surely  better  than  to  live  the 
lukewarm  calculating  lives  of  most  of  us. )  Giorgione's  claim 
to  distinction  is  that  not  only  was  he  a  glorious  colourist 
and  master  of  light  and  shade,  but  may  be  said  to  have 
invented  small  genre  pictures  that  could  be  canied  about 
and  hung  in  this  or  that  room  at  pleasure — such  pictures 


as  many  of  the  best  Dutch  painters  were  to  bend  their 
genius  to  almost  exclusively — his  favourite  subjects  being 
music  pai-ties  and  picnics.  These  Moses  and  Solomon 
pictures  in  the  Uffizi  are  of  course  only  a  pretext  for  glori- 
ously coloured  aiTangements  of  people  with  rich  scenic 
backgrounds.  No.  621  is  the  finer.  The  way  in  which 
the  baby  is  being  held  in  the  other  indicates  how  little 
Giorgione  thought  of  verisimilitude.  The  colour  was  the 

After  the  Giorgiones  the  Titians,  chief  of  which  is 
No.  633,  "The  Madonna  and  Child  with  S.  John  and  S. 
Anthony,"  sometimes  called  the  "  Madonna  of  the  Roses," 
a  work  which  throws  a  pallor  over  all  Tuscan  pictures ; 
No.  626,  the  golden  Flora,  who  glows  more  gloriously 
every  moment  (whom  we  shall  see  again,  at  the  Pitti, 
as  the  Magdalen) ;  the  Duke  and  Duchess  of  Urbino, 
Nos.  605  and  599,  the  Duchess  set  at  a  window  with  what 
looks  so  curiously  like  a  deep  blue  Surrey  landscape  through 
it  and  a  village  spire  in  the  midst ;  and  618,  an  unfinished 
Madonna  and  Child  in  which  the  Master's  methods  can  be 
followed.  The  Child,  completed  save  for  the  final  bath  of 
light,  is  a  miracle  of  draughtsmanship. 

The  triptych  by  Andrea  Mantegna  (1431-1506)  is  of 
inexhaustible  interest,  for  here,  as  ever,  Mantegna  is  full  of 
thought  and  purpose.  The  left  panel  represents  the  As- 
cension, Christ  being  borne  upwards  by  eleven  cherubim 
in  a  solid  cloud ;  the  right  panel — by  far  the  best,  I  think 
— shows  the  Circumcision,  where  the  painter  has  set  him- 
self various  difficulties  of  architecture  and  goldsmith's  work 
for  the  pleasure  of  overcoming  them,  every  detail  being 
painted  with  Dutch  minuteness  and  yet  leaving  the  picture 
big ;  while  the  middle  panel,  which  is  concave,  depicts  an 
Adoration  of  the  Magi  that  will  beai-  much  study.     The 


whole  effect  is  very  northern :  not  much  less  so  than  our 
own  new  National  Gallerj  Mabuse.  Mantegna  also  has  a 
chlu-ming  Madonna  and  Child,  No.  1026,  with  pleasing 
pastoral  and  stone-quarrying  activities  in  the  distance. 

On  the  right  of  the  triptych  is  the  so-called  Carpaccio 
(1450-1 519),  a  confused  but  glorious  melee  of  youths  and 
halberds,  reds  and  yellows  and  browns,  very  modern  and 
,splendid  and  totally  unlike  anything  else  in  the  whole 
gallery.  Uccello  may  possibly  be  recalled,  but  only  for 
subject.  Finally  there  is  Giovanni  Bellini  (1426-1516), 
master  of  Titian  and  Giorgione,  with  his  "  Sacra  Conversa- 
zione," No.  631,  which  means  I  know  not  what  but  has  a 
haunting  quality.  Later  we  shall  see  a  picture  by  Michel- 
angelo which  has  been  accused  of  blending  Christianity 
and  paganism ;  but  Bellini's  sole  pui'pose  was  to  do  this. 
We  have  children  from  a  Bacchic  vase  and  the  crowned 
Virgin ;  two  naked  saints  and  a  Venetian  lady ;  and  a 
centaur  watching  a  hermit.  The  foreground  is  a  mosaic 
terrace;  the  background  is  rocks  and  water.  It  is  all 
bizarre  and  very  curious  and  memorable  and  quite  unique. 
For  the  rest,  I  should  mention  two  charming  Guardis ;  a  rich 
little  Canaletto ;  a  nice  scene  of  sheep  by  Jacopo  Bassano ; 
the  portrait  of  an  unknown  young  man  by  an  unknown 
painter.  No.  1157 ;  and  Tintoretto's  daring  "  Abraham  and 
Isaac  ", 

The  other  Venetian  room  is  almost  wholly  devoted  to 
portraits,  chief  among  them  being  a  red-headed  Tintoretto 
burning  furiously,  No.  613,  and  Titian's  sly  and  sinister 
Cateidna  Cornaro  in  her  gorgeous  dress.  No.  648 ;  Piombo's 
"  L'Uomo  Ammalato  " ;  Tintoretto's  Jacopo  Sansovino,  the 
sculptor,  the  grave  old  man  holding  his  calipers  who  made 
that  wonderful  Greek  Bacchus  at  the  Bargello ;  Schiavone's 
ripe,  bearded  "  Ignoto,"  No.  649,  and,  perhaps  above  all. 


the  Moroni,  No.  386,  black  against  grey.  There  is  also 
Paolo  Veronese's  "  Holy  Family  with  S.  Catherine,"  superbly 
masterly  and  golden  but  suggesting  the  Rialto  rather 
than  Nazai'eth. 

One  picture  gives  the  next  room,  the  Sala  di  Michel- 
angelo, its  name ;  but  entering  from  the  Venetian  room  we 
come  fii-st  on  the  right  to  a  very  well-known  Lippo  Lippi, 
copied  in  every  picture  shop  in  Florence:  No.  1307,  a 
Madonna  and  two  Children.  Few  pictures  are  so  beset 
by  delighted  observers,  but  apart  from  the  perfection  of 
it  as  an  early  painting,  leaving  nothing  to  later  dexterity, 
its  appeal  to  me  is  weak.  The  Madonna  (whose  head-dress, 
as  so  often  in  Lippo  Lippi,  foreshadows  Botticelli)  and 
the  landscape  equally  delight;  the  children  almost  repel, 
and  the  decorative  furniture  in  the  corner  quite  repels. 
The  picture  is  interesting  also  for  its  colour,  which  is  unlike 
anything  else  in  the  gallery,  the  green  of  the  Madonna's 
dress  being  especially  lovely  and  distinguished,  and  vul- 
garizing the  Ghirlandaio — No.  1297 — which  hangs  next 
This  picture  is  far  too  hot  throughout,  and  would  indeed 
be  almost  displeasing  but  for  the  irradiation  of  the  Virgin's 
face.  The  other  Ghirlandaio — No.  1295 — in  this  room  is 
far  finer  and  sweeter;  but  at  the  Accademia  and  the 
Badia  we  are  to  see  him  at  his  best  in  this  class  of 
work.  None  the  less,  No.  1295  is  a  charming  thing,  and 
the  little  Mother  and  her  happy  Child,  whose  big  toe  is 
being  so  reverently  adored  by  the  ancient  mage,  are 
very  near  real  simple  life.  This  artist,  we  shall  see, 
always  paints  healthy,  honest  babies.  The  seaport  in  the 
distance  is  charming  too. 

Ghirlandaio's  place  in  this  room  is  interesting  on 
account  of  his  relation  to  Michelangelo  as  first  instructor; 
but  by  the  time  that  the  great  master's  "Holy  Family," 


hanging  here,  was  painted  all  traces  of  Ghirlandaio's  influ- 
ence had  disappefired,  and  if  any  forerunner  is  noticeable 
it  is  Luca  Signorelli.  But  we  must  first  glance  at  the  pretty 
little  Lorenzo  di  Credi,  No.  1160,  the  Annunciation,  an 
artificial  work  full  of  nice  thoughts  and  touches,  with 
the  prettiest  little  blue  Virgin  imaginable,  a  heavenly 
landscape,  and  a  predella  in  monochrome,  in  one  scene  of 
which  Eve  rises  from  the  side  of  the  sleeping  Adam  with 
extraordinary  realism.  The  announcing  Gabriel  is  deferen- 
tial but  positive ;  Mary  is  questioning  but  not  wholly  sur- 
prised. In  any  collection  of  Annunciations  this  picture 
would  find  a  prominent  place. 

The  "  Holy  Family  "  of  Michelangelo— No.  1139— is  re- 
markable for  more  than  one  reason.  It  is,  to  begin  with,  the 
only  finished  easel  picture  that  exists  from  his  brush.  It  is 
also  his  one  work  in  oils,  for  he  afterwards  despised  that 
medium  as  being  fit  "  only  for  children  ".  The  frame  is 
contemporary  and  was  made  for  it,  the  whole  being  com- 
missioned by  Angelo  Doni,  a  wealthy  connoisseur  whose 
portrait  by  Raphael  we  shall  see  in  the  Pitti,  and  who, 
according  to  Vasari,  did  his  best  to  get  it  cheaper  than  his 
bargain,  and  had  in  the  end  to  pay  dearer.  The  period  of 
the  picture  is  about  1503,  while  the  great  David  was  in 
progress,  when  the  painter  was  twenty-eight.  That  it  is 
mastei'ly  and  superb  there  can  be  no  doubt,  but,  like  so  much 
of  Michelangelo's  work,  it  suffei-s  from  its  author's  great- 
ness. There  is  an  austerity  of  power  here  that  ill  consorts 
with  the  tender  domesticity  of  the  scene,  and  the  Child  is 
a  young  Hercules.  The  nude  figures  in  the  background 
introduce  an  alien  element  and  suggest  the  conflict  between 
Christianity  and  paganism,  the  new  religion  and  the  old  : 
in  short,  the  Twili^t  of  the  Grods.  Whether  Michelangelo 
intended  this  we  shfdl  not  know ;  but  there  it  is.    The 


prevailing  impression  left  by  the  picture  is  immense  power 
and  virtuosity  and  no  religion.  In  the  beautiful  Luca 
Signorelli— No.  74— next  it,  we  find  at  once  a  curious 
similarity  and  difference.  The  Madonna  and  €hild  only 
are  in  the  foreground,  a  not  too  radiant  but  very  tender 
couple  ;  in  the  background  are  male  figures  nearly  ijude : 
not  quite,  as  Michelangelo  made  them,  and  suggesting  no 
discoid  as  in  his  picture.  Luca  was  bom  in  1441,  and  was 
thus  thirty-four  yeai-s  older  than  Michelangelo.  This 
picture  is  perhaps  that  one  presented  by  Luca  to  Lorenzo 
de'  Medici,  of  which  Vasari  tells,  and  if  so  it  was  probably 
on  a  wall  in  the  Medici  palace  when  Michelangelo  as  a 
boy  was  taught  with  Lorenzo's  sons.  Luca's  sweetness 
was  alien  to  Michelangelo,  but  not  his  melancholy  or  his 
sense  of  composition ;  while  Luca's  devotion  to  the  human 
form  as  the  unjt  of  expression  was  in  Michelangelo  carried 
out  to  its  highest  power.  Vasari,  who  was  a  relative  of 
Luca's  and  a  pupil  of  Michelangelo's,  says  that  his  master 
had  the  greatest  admiration  for  Luca's  genius. 

Luca  Signorelli  was  born  at  Cortona,  and  was  instructed 
by  Piero  della  Francesca,  whose  one  Uffizi  painting  is  in  a 
later  room.  His  chief  work  is  at  Cortona,  at  Rome  (in 
the  Sixtine  Chapel),  and  at  Orvieto.  His  fame  was  suffi- 
cient in  Florence  in  1491  for  him  to  be  made  one  of  the 
judges  of  the  designs  for  the  fa9ade  of  the  Duomo.  Luca 
lived  to  a  great  age,  not  dying  till  1524,  and  was  much 
beloved.  He  was  magnificent  in  his  habits  and  loved  fine 
clothes,  was  very  kindly  and  helpful  in  disposition,  and 
the  influence  of  his  naturalness  and  sincerity  upon  art 
was  great  One  very  pretty  sad  story  is  told  of  him,  to 
the  effect  that  when  his  son,  whom  he  had  dearly  loved,  was 
killed  at  Cortona,  he  caused  the  body  to  be  stripped,  and 
painted  it  with  the  utmost  exactitude,  that  through  his 


own  handiwork  he  might  be  able  to  contemplate  that 
treasure  of  which  fate  had  robbed  him.  Perhaps  the  most 
beautiful  or  at  any  rate  the  most  idiosyncratic  thing  in 
the  picture  before  us  is  its  lovely  profusion  of  wayside 
flowers.  These  come  out  but  poorly  in  the  photograph, 
but  in  the  painting  they  are  exquisite  both  in  form  and  in 
detail.  Luca  painted  them  as  if  he  loved  them.  (There  is  a 
hmt  of  the  same  thoughtfiil  care  in  the  flowers  in  No.  1133, 
by  Luca,  in  our  National  Gallery  ;  but  these  at  Florence 
are  the  best.)  No.  74  is  in  tempera :  the  next,  also  by 
Luca,  No.  1291,  is  in  oil,  a  "  Holy  Family,"  a  work  at 
once  powerful,  rich,  and  sweet.  Here,  again,  we  may  trace 
an  influence  on  Michelangelo,  for  the  child  is  shown  de- 
precating a  book  which  his  mother  is  displaying,  while  in 
the  beautiful  marble  tondo  of  the  "  Madonna  and  Child  " 
by  Michelangelo,  which  we  are  soon  to  see  in  the 
Bargello,  a  reading  lesson  is  in  progress,  and  the  child 
wearying  of  it.  We  find  Luca  again  in  the  next  lai-ge 
picture — No.  1547— a  Crucifixion,  with  various  Saints,  done 
in  collaboration  with  Perugino.  The  design  suggests  Luca 
rather  than  his  companion,  and  the  woman  at  the  foot  of 
the  cross  is  surely  the  type  of  which  he  was  so  fond.  The 
drawing  of  Christ  is  masterly  and  all  too  sombre  for 
Perugino.  Finally,  there  is  a  Luca  predella.  No.  1298, 
representing  the  Annunciation,  the  Birth  of  Christ  (in 
which  Joseph  is  older  almost  than  in  any  version),  and  the 
Adoration  of  the  Magi<  all  notable  for  freedom  and  rich- 
ness. Note  the  realism  and  charm  and  the  costume  of  the 
two  pages  of  the  Magi. 

And  now  we  come  to  what  is  perhaps  the  most  lovely 
picture  in  the  whole  gallery,  judged  purely  as  colour  and 
sweetness  and  design — No.  1549 — a  "  Madonna  Adoring," 
with  Filippino  Lippi's  name  and  an  inten'ogation  mark 


beneath  it.  Who  painted  it  if  not  Filippino  ?  That  is  the 
question  ;  but  into  such  problems,  which  confront  one  at 
every  turn  in  Florence,  I  am  neither  qualified  nor  anxious 
to  enter.  When  doctors  disagree  any  one  may  decide  before 
me.  The  thought,  moreover,  that  always  occurs  in  the  pre- 
sence of  these  good  debatable  pictures,  is  that  any  doubt 
as  to  their  origin  merely  enriches  this  already  over-rich 
period,  since  some  one  had  to  paint  them.  Simon  not 
pure  becomes  hardly  less  remarkable  than  Simon  pure. 

If  only  the  Baby  were  more  pleasing,  this  would  be  per- 
haps the  most  delightful  picture  in  the  world  :  as  it  is,  its 
blues  alone  lift  it  to  the  heavens  of  delectableness.  By  an 
unusual  stroke  of  fortune  a  crack  in  the  paint  where  the 
panels  join  has  made  a  star  in  the  tender  blue  sky.  The 
Tuscan  landscape  is  very  still  and  beautiful ;  the  flowers, 
although  conventional  and  not  accurate  like  Luca's,  are  as 
pretty  as  can  be  ;  the  one  unsatisfying  element  is  the  Baby, 
who  is  a  little  clumsy  and  a  little  in  pain,  but  diffuses 
radiance  none  the  less.  And  the  Mother — the  Mother  is 
all  perfection  and  winsomeness.  Her  face  and  hands  are 
exquisite,  and  the  Tuscan  twilight  behind  her  is  so  lovely. 
I  have  given  a  reproduction,  but  colour  is  essential. 

The  remaining  three  pictures  in  the  room  are  a  Bas- 
tiano  and  a  PoUaiuolo,  which  are  rather  for  the  student 
than  the  wanderer,  and  a  charming  Ignoto,  No.  75,  which 
I  like  immensely.     But  Ignoto  nearly  always  paints  well. 

In  the  Sala  di  Leonardo  are  two  pictures  which  bear 
the  name  of  this  most  fascinating  of  all  the  painters  of 
the  world.  One  is  the  Annunciation,  No.  1288,  upon  the 
authenticity  of  which  much  has  been  said  and  written,  and 
the  other  an  unfinished  Adoration  of  the  Magi  which  can- 
not be  questioned  by  anyone.  The  probabilities  are  that 
the  Annunciation  is  an  early  work  and  that  the  ascrip- 


tion  is  accurate :  at  Oxford  is  a  drawing  known  to  be 
Leonardo's  that  is  almost  certainly  a  study  for  a  detail 
of  this  work,  while  among  the  Leonardo  drawings  in  the 
His  de  la  Salle  collection  at  the  Louvre  is  something  very 
like  a  fii-st  sketch  of  the  whole.  Certainly  one  can  think 
of  no  one  else  who  could  have  given  the  picture  its  quality, 
which  increases  in  richness  with  every  visit  to  the  gallery ; 
but  the  workshop  of  Verrocchio,  where  Leonardo  worked, 
together  with  Lorenzo  di  Credi  and  Perugino,  with  Andrea 
of  the  True  Eye  over  all,  no  doubt  put  forth  wonderful 
things.  The  Annunciation  is  unique  in  the  collection,  both 
in  colour  and  character  :  nothing  in  the  Uffizi  so  deepens. 
There  are  no  cypresses  like  these  in  any  other  picture,  no 
finer  drawing  than  that  of  Mary's  hands.  Luca's  flowers 
are  better,  in  the  adjoining  room  ;  one  is  not  too  happy 
about  the  pedestal  of  the  reading-desk ;  and  there  are 
Virgins  whom  we  can  like  more ;  but  as  a  whole  it  is  per- 
haps the  most  fascinating  picture  of  all,  for  it  has  the 
Leonardo  darkness  as  well  as  light. 

Of  Leonardo  I  could  write  for  ever,  but  this  book  is  not 
the  place ;  for  though  he  was  a  Florentine,  Florence  has 
very  little  of  his  work :  these  pictures  only,  and  one  of 
these  only  for  certain,  together  with  an  angel  in  a  work 
by  Verrocchio  at  the  Accademia  which  we  shall  see,  and 
possibly  a  sculptured  figure  over  the  north  door  of  the 
Baptistery.  Ludovico  Sforza,  Duke  of  Milan,  and  Francis 
I  of  France,  lured  him  away,  to  the  eternal  loss  of  his  own 
city.  It  is  Milan  and  Paris  that  are  richest  in  his  work, 
and  after  that  London,  which  has  at  South  Kensington  a 
sculptured  relief  by  him  as  well  as  a  painting  at  the 
National  Gallery,  a  cartoon  at  Burlington  House,  and 
the  British  Museum  drawings. 

His  other  work  hew— No.  1252~in  the  grave  brown 


frame,  was  to  have  been  Leonardo's  greatest  picture  in 
oil,  so  Vasari  says  :  larger,  in  fact,  than  any  known  picture 
at  that  time.  Being  very  indistinct,  it  is,  curiously 
enough,  best  as  the  light  begins  to  fail  and  the  beautiful 
wistful  faces  emerge  from  the  gloom.  In  their  presence 
one  recalls  Leonardo's  remark  in  one  of  his  notebooks  that 
faces  are  most  interesting  beneath  a  troubled  sky.  "  You 
should  make  your  portrait,"  he  adds,  "  at  the  hour  of  the 
fall  of  the  evening  when  ib  is  cloudy  or  misty,  for  the 
light  then  is  perfect."  In  the  background  one  can  discern 
the  prancing  horses  of  the  Magi's  suite  ;  a  staircase  with 
figures  ascending  and  descending ;  the  rocks  and  trees  of 
Tuscany ;  and  looking  at  it  one  cannot  but  ponder  upon 
the  fatality  which  seems  to  have  pursued  this  divine  and 
magical  genius,  ordaining  that  almost  everything  that  he 
put  forth  should  be  either  destroyed  or  unfinished  :  his 
work  in  the  Castello  at  Milan,  which  might  otherwise  be 
an  eighth  wonder  of  the  world,  perished  ;  his  "  Last  Supper  " 
at  Milan  perishing ;  his  colossal  equestrian  statue  of  Fran- 
cesco Sforza  broken  to  pieces;  ,his  sculpture  lost;  his 
Palazzo  Vecchio  battle  cartoon  perished ;  this  picture  only 
a  sketch.  Even  after  long  years  the  evil  fate  still  per- 
sists, for  in  1911  his  "  Gioconda  "  was  stolen  from  the  Louvre 
by  madman  or  knave. 

Among  the  other  pictures  in  this  room  is  the  rather 
hot  "  Adoration  of  the  Magi,"  by  Cosimo  RosseUi  (1439- 
1507),  over  the  Leonardo  "  Annunciation,"  a  glowing  scene 
of  colour  and  animation :  this  Cosimo  being  the  Cosimo 
from  whom  Piero  di  Cosimo  took  his  name,  and  an  associ- 
ate of  Botticelli,  Ghirlandaio,  Perugino,  and  Luca  Sig- 
norelli  on  the  Sixtine  Chapel  frescoes.  On  the  left  wall 
is  Uccello's  battle  piece.  No.  52,  very  like  that  in  our 
National  Gallery:  rich  and  glorious  as  decoration,  but 


FkO,^[     I  HE    I'AIN'IING    BY    lii  >-rTIC(iI-I-r    IN    "IHE    L  F  F- 


.  quite  bearing  out  Vasari's  statement  that  Uccello  could 
not  draw  horses.  Uccello  was  a  most  laborious  student 
of  animal  life  and  so  absorbed  in  the  mysteries  of  per- 
spective that  he  preferred  them  to  bed ;  but  he  does  not 
seem  to  have  been  able  to  unite  them.  He  was  a 
pei-petual  butt  of  Donatello.  It  is  told  of  him  that 
having  a  commission  to  paint  a  fresco  for  the  Mercato 
Vecchio  he  kept  the  progress  of  the  work  a  secret  and 
allowed  no  one  to  see  it.  At  last,  when  it  was  finished, 
he  drew  aside  the  sheet  for  Donatello,  who  was  buying 
fruit,  to  admire.  "Ah,  Paolo,"  said  the  sculptor  re- 
proachfully, "  now  that  you  ought  to  be  covering  it  up, 
you  uncover  it." 

There  remain  a  superb  nude  study  of  Venus  by  Lorenzo 
di  Credi,  No.  8452 — one  of  the  pictures  which  escaped 
Savonarola's  bonfire  of  vanities,  and  No.  1305,  a  Virgin 
and  Child  with  various  Saints  by  Domenico  Veneziano 
(1400-1461),  who  taught  Gentile  da  Fabriatoo,  the  teacher 
of  Jacopo  Bellini.  This  picture  is  a  complete  contrast  to 
the  Uccello :  for  that  is  all  tapestry,  richness,  and  belli- 
gerence, and  this  is  so  pale  and  gentle,  with  its  lovely 
light  green,  a  rare  colour  in  this  gallery. 



A  painter  apart — Sandro  Filipepi — Artists'  names — Piero  de'  Medici^^ 
The  "Adoration  of  the  Magi  " — The"  Judith  "pictures— Lucrezia  Torna- 
buoni,  Lorenzoand  Giuliano's  mother — The  Tournaments — The  "  Birth  of 
Venus  "  and  the  "  Primavera  " — Simonetta — A  new  star — Sacred  pictures — 
Savonarola  and  "The  Calumny"— The  National  Gallery— Botticelli's  old 
age  and  death. 

WE  come  next  to  the  Sala  di  Botticelli,  and  such  is  the 
position  held  by  this  painter  in  the  affection  of 
visitors  to  Florence,  and  such  the  wealth  of  works  from  his 
hand  that  the  Uffizi  possesses,  that  I  feel  that  a  single 
chapter  may  well  be  devoted  to  his  genius,  more  particularly 
as  many  of  his  pictures  were  so  closely  associated  with  Piero 
de'  Medici  and  Lorenzo  de'  Medici.  We  see  Botticelli 
here  at  his  most  varied.  The  Accademia  also  is  very  rich 
in  his  work,  having  above  all  the  "  Primavera,"  and  in  this 
chapter  I  shall  glance  at  the  Accademia  pictures  too,  re- 
turning to  them  when  we  reach  that  gallery  in  due  course. 
Among  the  great  Florentine  masters  Botticelli  stands 
apart  by  reason  not  only  of  the  sensitive  wistful  delicacy 
of  his  work,  but  for  the  profound  interest  of  his  personality. 
He  is  not  essentially  more  beautiful  than  his  friend  Filippino 
Lippi  or — occasionally— ^than  Fra  Lippo  Lippi  his  master ; 
but  he  is  always  deeper.  One  feels  tiat  he  too  felt  the 
emotion  that  his  characters  display ;   he  did  not  merely 



paint,  he  thought  and  suffered.  Hence  his  work  is  dra- 
matic. Again  Botticelli  had  far  wider  sympathies  than 
most  of  his  contemporaries.  He  was  a  friend  of  the  Medici, 
a  neo-Platonist,  a  student  of  theology  with  the  poet  Pal- 
mieri,  an  illustrator  of  Da&te,  and  a  devoted  follower  of 
Savonarola.  Of  the  part  that  women  played  in  his  life 
we  know  nothing  :  in  fact  we  know  less  of  him  intimately 
than  of  almost  any  of  the  great  painters ;  but  this  we  may 
guess,  that  he  was  never  a  happy  man.  His  work  falls 
naturally  into  divisions  corresponding  to  his  early  devotion 
to  Piero  de'  Medici  and  his  wife  Lucrezia  Tomabuoni,  in 
whose  house  for  a  while  he  lived ;  to  his  interest  in  their 
sons  Lorenzo  and  Giuliano;  and  finally  to  his  belief  in 
Savonarola.  Sublime  he  never  is  ;  comforting  he  never  is  ; 
but  he  is  everything  else.  One  can  never  forget  in  his 
presence  the  tragedy  that  attends  the  too  earnest  seeker 
after  beauty :  not "  all  is  vanity  "  does  Botticelli  say,  but 
"  all  is  transitory  ". 

Botticelli,  as  we  now  call  him,  was  the  son  of  Mariano 
Filipepi  and  was  born  in  Florence  in  1447.  According  to 
one  account  he  was  called  Sandro  di  Botticelli  because  he 
was  apprenticed  to  a  goldsmith  of  that  name ;  according 
to  another  his  brother  Antonio,  a  goldsmith,  was  known 
as  Botticello  (which  means  a  little  barrel),  and  Sandro  be- 
ing with  him  was  called  Sandio  di  Botticello.  Whatever 
the  cause,  the  fact  remains  that  the  name  of  Filipepi  is 
rarely  used. 

And  here  a  word  as  to  the  capriciousness  of  the  nomen- 
clature of  artists.  We  know  some  by  their  Christian  names ; 
some  by  their  surnames ;  some  by  their  nicknames ;  some 
by  the  names  of  thek  towns,  and  some  by  the  names 
of  their  masters.  Tommaso  Bigordi,  a  goldsmith,  was  so 
clever  in  designing  a  pretty  garland  for  women's  hair  that 


he  was  called  Ghirlandaio,  the  garland-maker,  and  his 
painter  son  Domenico  is  therefore  known  for  evei-  as 
Domenico  Ghirlandaio.  Paolo  Doni,  a  painter  of  battle 
scenes,  was  so  fond  of  birds  that  he  was  known  as  Uccello 
(a  bird)  and  now  has  no  other  name;  Pietro  Vannucci 
coming  from  Perugia  was  called  Perugino ;  Agnolo  di 
Francesco  di  Migliore  happened  to  be  a  tailor  with  a  genius 
of  a  son,  Andrea;  that  genius  is  therefore  Andrea  of  the 
Tailor— del  Sarto— for  all  time.     And  so  forth. 

To  return  to  Botticelli.  In  1447,  when  he  was  born,  Fra 
Angelico  was  sixty ;  and  Masaccio  had  been  dead  for  some 
yeai-s.  At  the  age  of  twelve  the  boy  was  placed  with  Fra 
Lippo  Lippi,  then  a  man  of  a  little  more  than  fifty,  to 
learn  painting.  That  Lippo  was  his  master  one  may  see 
continually,  but  particularly  by  comparison  of  his  head- 
dresses with  almost  any  of  Botticelli's.  Both  were  minutely 
careful  in  this  detail.  But  where  Lippo  was  beautifully 
obvious,  Sandro  was  beautifully  analytical :  he  was  also,  as 
I  have  said,  much  more  interesting  and  dramatic. 

Botticelli's  best  patron  was  Piero  de'  Medici,  who  took 
him  into  his  house,  much  as  his  son  Lorenzo  was  to  take 
Michelangelo  into  his,  and  made  him  one  of  the  family. 
For  Piero,  Botticelli  always  had  aft'ection  and  respect,  and 
when  he  painted  his  "  Fortitude  "  as  one  of  the  Pollaiuoli's 
series  of  the  Virtues  for  the  Mercatanzia  (of  which  several 
are  in  this  gallery),  he  made  the  figure  symbolize  Piero's 
life  and  character — or  so  it  is  possible,  if  one  wishes  to 
believe.  But  it  should  be  understood  that  almost  nothing 
is  known  about  Botticelli  and  the  origin  of  his  pictures. 
At  Piero's  request  Botticelli  painted  the  "  Adoration  of  the 
Magi "  (No.  1286)  which  was  to  hang  in  S.  Maria  Novella 
as  an  oflFering  of  gratitude  for  Piero's  escape  from  the  con- 
spiracy of  Luca  Pitti  in  1 466.     Piero  had  but  j  ust  succeeded 

I  HE    LOGGIA    I)E     I.ANZI,    THE    nuoMO,    A.MI    THE    PALAZZO    VECCHIO 


to  Cosimo  when  Pitti,  considering  him  merely  an  invalid, 
struck  his  blow.  By  virtue  largely  of  the  young  Lorenzo's 
address  the  attack  miscarried :  hence  the  presence  of 
Lorenzo  in  the  picture,  on  the  extreme  left,  with  a  sword. 
Piero  himself  in  scarlet  kneels  in  the  middle ;  Giuliano, 
his  second  son,  doomed  to  an  early  death  by  assassination, 
is  kneeling  on  his  right.  The  picture  is  not  only  a  sacred 
painting  but  (like  the  Gozzoli  fresco  at  the  Riccardi  palace) 
an  exaltation  of  the  Medici  family.  The  dead  Cosimo  is 
at  the  Child's  feet ;  the  dead  Giovanni,  Fiero's  brother, 
stands  close  to  the  kneeling  Giuliano.  Among  the  other 
persons  represented  are  collateral  Medici  and  certain  of 
their  friends. 

It  is  by  some  accepted  that  the  figure  in  yellow,  on  the 
extreme  right,  looking  out  of  this  picture,  is  Botticelli 
himself.  But  for  a  portrait  of  the  painter  of  more  authen- 
ticity we  must  go  to  the  Carmine,  where,  in  the  Brancacci 
chapel,  we  shall  see  a  fresco  by  Botticelli's  friend  Filippino 
Lippi  representing  the  Crucifixion  of  S.  Peter,  in  which 
our  painter  is  depicted  on  the  right,  looking  on  at  the 
scene — a  rather  coarse  heavy  face,  with  a  large  mouth  and 
long  hair.  He  wears  a  purple  cap  and  red  cloak.  Vasari 
tells  us  that  Botticelli,  although  so  profoundly  thoughtful 
and  melancholy  in  his  work,  was  extravagant,  pleasure 
loving,  and  given  to  practical  jokes.  Part  at  least  of  this 
might  be  gathered  from  observation  of  Filippino  Lippi's 
portrait  of  him.  According  to  Vasari  it  was  No.  1286 
which  brought  Botticelli  his  invitation  to  Rome  from 
Sixtus  IV  to  decorate  the  Sixtine  Chapel.  But  that  was 
several  years  later  and  much  was  to  happen  in  the  in- 

The  two  little  "  Judith  "  pictures  (Nos.  1156  and  1158) 
were  painted  for  Piero  de'  Medici  and  had  their  place  in 


the  Medici  palace.  In  1494,  when  Piero  di  Lorenzo  de' 
Medici  was  banished  from  Florence  and  the  palace  looted, 
they  were  stolen  and  lost  sight  of;  but  during  the  reign 
of  Francis  I  they  reappeared  and  were  presented  to  his  wife 
Bianca  Capella  and  once  more  placed  with  the  Medici 
treasures.  No.  1156,  the  Judith  walking  springily  along, 
sword  in  hand,  having  slain  the  tyrant,  is  one  of  the  master- 
pieces of  paint.  Everything  about  it  is  radiant,  superb, 
and  unforgettable. 

One  other  picture  which  the  young  painter  made  for  his 
patron — or  in  this  case  his  patroness,  Lucrezia  Tomabuoni, 
Piero's  wife — is  the  "  Madonna  of  the  Magnificat,"  No.  1267, 
with  its  beautiful  children  and  sweet  Madonna,  its  lovely 
landscape  but  not  too  attractive  Child.  The  two  boys  are 
Lorenzo,  on  the  left,  and  Giuliano,  in  yellow.  One  of  their 
sisters  leans  over  them.  Here  the  boys  are  perhaps, 
in  Botticelli's  way,  typified  rather  than  portrayed.  Al- 
though this  picture  came  so  early  in  his  career  Botticelli 
never  excelled  its  richness,  beauty,  and  depth  of  feeling,  nor 
its  liquid  delicacy  of  treatment.  Lucrezia  Tornabuoni,  for 
whom  he  painted  it,  was  a  very  remarkable  woman,  not 
only  a  good  mother  to  her  children  and  a  good  wife  to 
Piero,  but  a  poet  and  exemplar.  She  survived  Piero  by 
thii'teen  years  and  her  son  Giuliano  by  five.  Botticelli 
painted  her  portrait,  which  is  now  in  Berlin. 

These  pictures  are  the  principal  work  of  Botticelli's  first 
period,  which  coincides  with  the  five  years  of  Piero's  rule 
and  the  period  of  mom-ning  for  him. 

He  next  appeal's  in  what  many  of  his  admirers  find  his 
most  fascinating  mood,  as  a  joyous  allegorist,  the  picture 
of  Venus  rising  from  the  sea  in  this  room,  the  "  Primavera  " 
which  we  shall  see  at  the  Accademia,  and  the  "  Mars  and 
Venus  "  in  our  National  Gallery,  belonging  to  this  epoch. 


But  in  order  to  understand  them  we  must  again  go  to 
history.  Piero  was  succeeded  in  1469  by  his  son  Lorenzo 
the  Magnificent,  who  continued  his  father's  friendship  for 
the  young  painter,  now  twenty-two  years  of  age.  In  1474 
Lorenzo  devised  for  his  brother  Giuliano  a  tournament 
in  the  Piazza  of  S.  Croce  very  like  that  which  Piero  had 
given  for  Lorenzo  on  the  occasion  of  his  betrothal  in  1469 ; 
and  Botticelli  was  commissioned  by  Lorenzo  to  make 
pictures  commemorating  the  event.  Verrocchio  again 
helped  with  the  costumes ;  Lucrezia  Donati  again  was 
Queen  of  the  Tournament ;  but  the  Queen  of  Beauty  was 
the  sixteen-year-old  bride  of  Marco  Vespucci — the  lovely 
Simonetta  Cattaneo,  a  lady  greatly  beloved  by  all  and  a 
close  friend  both  of  Giuliano  and  Lorenzo. 

The  praises  of  Lorenzo's  tournament  had  been  sung  by 
Luca  Pulci :  Giuliano's  were  sung  by  Poliziano,  under  the 
title  "  La  Giostra  di  Giuliano  de'  Medici,"  and  it  is  this 
poem  which  Botticelli  may  be  said  to  have  illustrated,  for 
both  poet  and  artist  employ  the  same  imagery.  Thus 
Poliziano,  or  Politian  (of  whom  we  shall  hear  more  in  the 
chapter  on  S.  Marco)  compares  Simonetta  to  Venus,  and 
in  stanzas  100  and  101  speaks  of  her  birth,  describing 
her  blown  to  earth  over  the  sea  by  the  breath  of  the 
ZephjTS,  and  welcomed  there  by  the  Hours,  one  of  whom 
offers  her  a  robe.  This,  Botticelli  translates  into  exquisite 
tempera  with  a  wealth  of  pretty  thoughts.  The  cornflowers 
and  daisies  on  the  Hour's  dress  are  alone  a  perennial  joy 

Simonetta  as  Venus  has  some  of  the  wistfulness  of  the 
Madonnas ;  and  not  without  reason  does  Botticelli  give 
her  this  expression,  for  her  days  were  very  short.  In 
the  "  Primavera,"  which  we  are  to  see  at  the  Accademia, 
but  which  must  be  described  here,  we  find  Simonetta  again 
but  we  do  not  see  her  first.     We  see  first  that  slender  up- 


right  commanding  figure,  all  flowers  and  youth  and  con- 
quest, in  her  lovely  floral  dress,  advancing  over  the  grass 
like  thistle-down.  Never  before  in  painting  had  anything 
been  done  at  once  so  distinguished  and  joyous  and  pagan 
as  this.  For  a  kindred  emotion  one  had  to  go  to  Greek 
sculpture,  but  Botticelli,  while  his  grace  and  joy  are 
Hellenic,  was  intensely  modern  too  :  the  problems  of  the 
Renaissance,  the  tragedy  of  Christianity,  equally  cloud  his 

The  symbolism  of  the  "  Primavera "  is  interesting. 
Glorious  Spring  is  returning  to  earth — in  the  presence  of 
Venus — once  more  to  make  all  glad,  and  with  her  her 
attendants  to  dance  and  sing,  and  the  Zephyrs  to  bring  the 
soft  breezes  ;  and  by  Spring  Botticelli  meant  the  reign 
of  Lorenzo,  whose  tournament  motto  was  "  Le  temps  re- 
vient ".  Simonetta  is  again  the  central  figure,  and  never 
did  Botticelli  paint  more  exquisitely  than  here.  Her 
bosom  is  the  prettiest  in  Florence ;  the  lining  of  her  robe 
over  her  right  arm  has  such  green  and  blue  and  gold  as 
never  were  seen  elsewhere ;  her  golden  sandals  are  delicate 
as  gossamer.  Over  her  head  a  little  cupid  hovei-s,  directing 
his  arrow  at  Mercury,  on  the  extreme  left,  beside  the  three 

In  Mercury,  who  is  touching  the  trees  withhis  caduceus 
and  bidding  them  burgeon,  some  see  Giuliano  de'  Medici, 
who  was  not  yet  betrothed.  But  when  the  picture  was 
painted  both  Giuliano  and  Simonetta  were  dead  :  Simonetta 
first,  of  consumption,  in  1476,  and  Giuliano,  by  stabbing, 
in  14.78.  Lorenzo,  who  was  at  Pisa  during  Simonetta's 
illness,  detailed  his  own  physician  for  her  care.  On  hear- 
ing of  her  death  he  walked  out  into  the  night  and  noticed 
for  the  first  time  a  brilliant  star.  "  See,"  he  said,  "  either 
the  soul  of  that  most  gentle  lady  hath  been  transferred 

SAN    r,IA(;OMO 
FIvUM    THE    rA(\ll:,(,    WY    AMHMtA    DEI.    SAIMO    IN    7)11.    UFFI/I 


into  that  new  star  or  else  hath  it  been  joined  togethei-  there- 
unto." Of  Giuliano's  end  we  have  read  in  Chapter  II,  and 
it  was  Botticelli,  whose  destinies  were  so  closely  bound  up 
with  the  Medici,  who  was  commissioned  to  paint  portraits 
of  the  murderous  Pazzi  to  be  displayed  outside  the  Palazzo 

A  third  picture  in  what  may  be  called  the  tournament 
peiiod  is  found  by  some  in  the  "  Venus  and  Mars,"  No.  915, 
in  our  National  Gallery.  Here  Giuliano  would  be  Mars, 
and  Venus  either  one  woman  in  particular  whom  Florence 
wished  him  to  maiTy,  or  all  women,  typified  by  one,  trying 
to  lure  him  from  other  pre-occupations,  such  as  hunting. 
To  make  her  Simonetta  is  to  go  too  far ;  for  she  is  not  like 
the  Simonetta  of  the  other  pictures,  and  Simonetta  was 
but  recently  man-ied  and  a  veiy  model  of  fair  repute.  In 
No.  916  in  the  National  Gallery  is  a  "  Venus  with  Cupids  " 
(which  might  be  by  Botticelli  and  might  be  by  that  inter- 
esting painter  of  whom  Mr.  Berenson  has  written  so 
attractively  as  Amico  di  Sandro),  in  which  Politian's  de- 
scription of  Venus,  in  his  poem,  is  again  closely  followed. 

After  the  tournament  pictures  we  come  in  Botticelli's 
career  to  the  Sixtine  Chapel  frescoes,  and  on  his  return  to 
Florence  to  other  frescoes,  including  that  lovely  one  at  the 
Villa  Lemmi  (then  the  Villa  Tomabuoni)  which  is  now  on 
the  staircase  of  the  Louvre.  These  are  followed  by  at  least 
two  more  Medici  pictures — the  portrait  of  Piero  di  Lorenzo 
de'  Medici,  in  this  room.  No.  1154,  the  sad-faced  youth 
with  the  medal ;  and  the  "  Pallas  and  the  Centaur  "  at  the 
Pitti,  an  historical  record  of  Lorenzo's  success  as  a  diplo- 
matist when  he  went  to  Naples  in  1480. 

The  latter  part  of  Botticelli's  life  was  spent  under  the 
influence  of  Savonarola  and  in  despair  at  the  wickedness 
of  the  world  and   its   treatment  of  that   prophet.     His 


pictures  became  wholly  religious,  butit  was  religion  without 
joy.  Never  capable  of  disguising  the  sorrow  that  underlies 
all  human  happiness — or,  as  I  think  of  it  in  looking  at  his 
work,  the  sense  of  transience — Botticelli,  as  age  came  upon 
him,  was  more  than  ever  depressed.  One  has  the  feel- 
ing that  he  was  persuaded  that  only  through  devotion  and 
self-negation  could  peace  of  mind  be  gained,  and  yet  for 
himself  could  find  none.  The  sceptic  was  too  strong  in  him. 
Savonarola's  eloquence  could  not  make  him  serene,  however 
much  he  may  have  come  beneath  its  spell.  It  but  served  to 
increase  his  melancholy.  Hence  these  wistful  despondent 
Madonnas,  all  so  conscious  of  the  tragedy  before  their 
Child ;  hence  these  troubled  angels  and  shadowed  saints. 

Savonarola  was  hanged  and  burned  in  1498,  and  Botti- 
celli paid  a  last  tribute  to  his  friend  in  the  picture  in  this 
room  called  "The  Calumny".  Under  the  pretence  of 
merely  illustrating  a  passage  in  Lucian,  who  was  one  of 
his  favourite  authors,  Botticelli  has  represented  the  cam- 
paign against  the  great  reformer.  The  hall  represents 
Florence  ;  the  judge  (with  the  ears  of  an  ass)  the  Signoria 
and  the  Pope.  Into  these  ears  Ignorance  and  Suspicion  are 
whispering.  Calumny,  with  Envy  at  her  side  and  tended 
by  Fraud  and  Deception,  holds  a  torch  in  one  hand  and 
with  the  other  drags  her  victim,  who  personifies  (but  with  no 
attempt  at  a  likeness)  Savonarola.  Behind  are  the  figures 
of  Remorse,  cloaked  and  miserable,  and  Truth,  naked  and 
unafraid.  The  statues  in  the  niches  ironically  represent 
abstract  virtues.  Everything  in  the  decoration  of  the 
palace  points  to  enlightenment  and  content ;  and  beyond 
is  the  calmest  and  greenest  of  seas. 

One  more  picture  was  Botticelli  to  paint,  and  this  also 
was  to  the  glory  of  Savonarola.  By  good  fortune  it  be- 
longs to  the  English  people  and  is  No.  1034  in  the  National 


Gallery.  It  has  upon  it  a  Greek  inscription  in  the  painter's 
own  hand  which  runs  in  English  as  follows  :  "  This  picture  I, 
Alessandro,  painted  at  the  end  of  the  year  1500,  in  the 
troubles  of  Italy,  in  the  half-time  after  the  time  during  the 
fulfilment  of  the  eleventh  of  St.  John,  in  the  second  woe  of 
the  Apocalypse,  in  the  loosing  of  the  devil  for  thiee  years 
and  a  half.  Afterwards  he  shall  be  confined,  and  we  shall  see 
him  trodden  down,  as  in  this  picture."  The  loosing  of 
the  devil  was  the  three  years  and  a  half  after  Savonarola's 
execution  on  May  28rd,  1498,  when  Florence  was  mad  with 
reaction  from  the  severity  of  his  discipline.  S.  John  says, 
"  I  will  give  power  unto  my  two  witnesses,  and  they  shall 
prophesy  " ;  the  painter  makes  three,  Savonarola  haying 
had  two  comrades  with  him.  The  picture  was  intended 
to  give  heart  to  the  followers  of  Savonarola  and  bring 
promise  of  ultimate  triumph. 

After  the  death  of  Savonarola,  Botticelli  became  both 
poor  and  infirm.  He  had  saved  no  money  and  all  his 
fi'iends  were  dead — Piero  de'  Medici,  Lorenzo,  Giuliano, 
Lucrezia,  Simonetta,  Filippino  Lippi,  and  Savonarola. 
He  hobbled  about  on  crutches  for  a  while,  a  pensioner  of 
the  Medici  family,  and  dying  at  the  age  of  seventy-eight 
was  buried  in  Ognissanti,  but  without  a  tombstone  for  fear 
of  desecration  by  the  enemies  of  Savonarola's  adherents. , 

Such  is  the  outline  of  Botticelli's  life.  We  will  now 
look  at  such  of  the  pictures  in  this  room  as  have  not  been 

Entering  from  the  Sala  di  Leonardo,  the  first  picture 
on  the  right  is  the  "Birth  of  Venus".  Then  the  very 
typical  circular  picture — a  shape  which  has  come  to  be 
intimately  associated  with  this  painter — No.  1289,  "The 
Madonna  of  the  Pomegranate,"  one  of  his  most  beautiful 
worksj  and  possibly  yet  another  designed  for  Lucrezia 


Tomabuom,  for  the  curl  on  the  forehead  of  the  boy  to  the 
left  of  the  Madonna — who  is  more  than  usually  troubled 
— is  very  like  that  for  which  Giuliano  de'  Medici  was 
famous.  This  is  a  very  lovely  work,  although  its  colour  is 
a  little  depressed.  Next  is  the  most  remarkable  of  the 
Piero  de'  Medici  pictures,  which  I  have  already  touched 
upon — No.  1286,  "  The  Adoration  of  the  Magi,"  as  different 
from  the  Venus  as  could  be  :  the  Venus  so  cool  and  trans- 
parent, and  this  so  hot  and  rich,  with  its  haughty  Florentines 
and  sumptuous  cloaks.  AboVe  it  is  No.  23,  a  less  subtle 
group — the  Madonna,  the  Child  and  angels — difficult  to 
see.  And  then  comes  the  beautiful  "  Magnificat,"  which  we 
know  to  have  been  painted  for  Lucrezia  Tornabuoni  and 
which  shall  here  introduce  a  passage  from  Pater :  "  For 
with  Botticelli  she  too,  although  she  holds  in  her  hands 
the  •  Desire  of  all  nations,'  is  one  of  those  who  are  neither 
for  Jehovah  nor  for  His  enemies ;  and  her  choice  is  on  her 
face.  The  white  light  on  it  is  cast  up  hard  and  cheerless 
from  below,  as  when  snow  lies  upon  the  ground,  and 
the  children  look  up  with  surprise  at  the  strange  whiteness 
of  the  ceiling.  Her  trouble  is  in  the  very  caress  of  the 
mysterious  child,  whose  gaze  is  always  far  from  her,  and 
who  has  already  that  sweet  look  of  devotion  which  men 
have  never  been  able  altogether  to  love,  and  which  still 
makes  the  bom  saiiit  an  object  almost  of  suspicion  to  his 
earthly  brethren.  Once,  indeed,  he  guides  her  hand  to 
transcribe  in  a  book  the  words  of  her  exaltation,  the  '  Ave,' 
and  the  'Magnificat,'  and  the  'Gaude  Maria,'  and  the 
young  angels,  glad  to  rouse  her  for  a  moment  from  her 
devotion,  are  eager  to  hold  the  ink-horn  and  to  support 
the  book.  But  the  pen  almost  drops  from  her  hand,  and 
the  high  cold  words  have  no  meaning  for  her,  and  her 
true  children  are  those  others  among  whom,  in  her  rude 


home,  the  intolerable  honour  came  to  her,  with  that  look 
of  wistful  inquiry  on  their  irregular  faces  which  you  see  in 
startled  animals — gipsy  children,  such  as  those  who,  in 
Apennine  villages,  still  hold  out  their  long  brown  arms  to 
beg  of  you,  with  their  thick  black  hair  nicely  combed,  and 
fair  white  linen  on  their  sunburnt  throats." 

The  picture's  frame  is  that  which  was  made  for  it  foui* 
hundred  and  fifty  years  ago  :  by  whom,  I  cannot  say,  but  it 
was  the  custom  at  that  time  for  the  painter  himself  to  be 
responsible  also  for  the  frame. 

The  glory  of  the  end  wall  is  the  "  Annunciation,"  repro- 
duced in  this  book.  The  pictm^e  is  a  work  that  may  perhaps 
not  wholly  please  at  first,  the  cause  largely  of  the  vermilion 
on  the  floor,  but  in  the  end  conquers.  The  hands  are 
among  the  most  beautiful  in  existence,  and  the  landscape, 
with  its  one  tree  and  its  fairy  architecture,  is  a  continual 
delight.  Among  "Annunciations,"  as  among  pictures,  it 
stands  very  high.  It  has  more  of  sophistication  than 
most :  the  Virgin  not  only  recognizes  the  honour,  but  the 
doom,  which  the  painter  himself  foreshadows  in  the  pre- 
della,  where  Christ  is  seen  rising  from  the  grave.  None  of 
Fra  Angelico's  simple  radiance  here,  and  none  of  Fra  Lippo 
Lippi's  glorified  matter-of-fact.  Here  is  tragedy.  The 
painting  of  the  Virgin's  head-dress  is  again  marvellous. 

Next  the  "Annunciation"  on  the  left  is,  to  my  eyes,  one 
of  Botticelli's  most  attractive  works :  No.  1303,  just  the 
Madonna  and  Child  again,  in  a  niche,  with  roses  climbing 
behind  them  :  the  Madonna  one  of  his  youngest,  and  more 
placid  and  simple  than  most,  with  more  than  a  hint  of  the 
Verrocchio  type  in  her  face.  To  the  "  School  of  Botticelli " 
this  is  sometimes  attributed  :  it  may  be  rightly.  Its  pendant 
is  another  "  Madonna  and  Child,"  No.  76,  more  like  Lippo 
Lippi  and  very  beautiful  in  its  darker  graver  way. 


The  other  wall  has  the  "  Fortitude,"  the  "  Calumny,"  and 
the  two  little  "  Judith  and  Holofernes  "  pictures.  Upon  the 
"  Fortitude,"  to  which  I  have  already  alluded,  it  is  well  to 
look  at  Ruskin,  who,  however,  was  not  aware  that  the 
artist  intended  any  symbolic  reference  to  the  character  and 
career  of  Piero  de'  Medici.  The  criticism  is  in  "  Mornings 
in  Florence  "  and  it  is  followed  by  some  fine  pages  on  the 
"  Judith  ".  The  "  Justice,"  "  Prudence,"  and  "  Charity  "  of 
the  Pollaiuolo  brothers,  belonging  to  the  same  series  as  the 
''  Fortitude,"  are  also  here  ;  but  after  the  "  Fortitude  "  one 
does  not  look  at  them. 



S.  Zenobius  —  Piero  delta  Francesca  —  Federigo  da  Montefeltro — 
Melozzo  da  Forli — The  Tribuna — Raphael — Re-arrangement — The  gems 
— The  self-painted  portraits — A  northern  room — Hugo  van  der  Goes — 
Tommaso  Portinari — The  sympathetic  Memling — Rubens  riotous — Vit- 
toria  della  Rovere — Baroccio — Honthorst — Giovanni  the  indiscreet — The 
Medusa — Medici  miniatures — Hercules  Seghers — The  Sala  di  Niobe — 
Beautiful  antiques. 

PASSING  from  the  Sala  di  Botticelli  through  the  Sala 
di  Lorenzo  Monaco  and  the  first  Tuscan  rooms  to 
the  corridor,  we  come  to  the  second  Tuscan  room,  which 
is  dominated  by  Andrea  del  Sai-to  (1486-1631),  whose 
"  Madonna  and  ChOd,"  with  "  S.  Pi-ancis  and  S.  John  the 
Evangelist" — No.  112 — ^is  certainly  the  favourite  picture 
here,  as  it  is,  in  reproduction,  in  so  many  homes ;  but,  apart 
from  the  Child,  I  like  far  better  the  "  S.Giacomo  "—No.  1264 
— so  sympathetic  and  rich  in  colour,  which  is  reproduced 
in  this  volume.  Another  good  Andrea  is  No.  93 — a 
soft  and  misty  appaiition  of  Christ  to  the  Magdalen.  The 
Sodoma  (1477-1549)  on  the  easel—"  S.  Sebastian,"  No.  1279 
— is  very  beautiful  in  its  Leonardesque  hues  and  romantic 
landscape,  and  the  two  Ridolfo  Ghirlandaios  (1483-1561) 
near  it  are  interesting  as  representing,  with  much  hai'd 
force,  scenes  in  the  story  of  S.  Zenobius,  of  Florence,  of 
whom  we  read  in  chapter  II,  In  one  he  restores  life  to  the 
lo  145 


dead  child  in  the  midst  of  a  Florentine  crowd  ;  in  the  other 
his  bier,  passing  the  Baptistery,  reanimates  the  dead  tree. 
Giotto's  tower  and  the  tower  of  the  Palazzo  Vecchio  are  to 
be  seen  on  the  left.  A  very  different  picture  is  the  Cosimo 
Rosselli,  No.  1280  bis,  a  comely  "Madonna  and  Saints," 
with  a  motherly  thought  in  the  treatment  of  the  bodice. 

Among  the  other  pictures  is  a  naked  sprawling  scene  of 
bodies  and  limbs  by  Cosimo  I's  favourite  painter,  Bronzino 
(1503-1572),  called  "  The  Saviour  in  Hell,"  and  two  nice 
Medici  children  from  the  same  brush,  which  was  kept  busy 
both  on  the  living  and  ancestral  lineaments  of  that  family ; 
two  Filippino  Lippis,  both  fine  if  with  a  little  too  much 
colour  for  this  paiiiter :  one — No.  1257 — approaching  the 
hotness  of  a  Ghirlandaio  carpet  piece,  but  a  great  feat  of 
crowded  activity ;  the  other.  No.  1268,  having  a  beautiful 
blue  Madonna  and  a  pretty  little  cherub  with  a  red  book, 
Piero  di  Cosimo  is  here,  religious  and  not  mythological ; 
and  here  are  a  very  straightforward  and  satisfying  Mariotto 
Albertinelli — the  "  Virgin  and  S.  Elizabeth,"  very  like  a  Fra 
Baiiolommeo ;  a  very  rich  and  beautiful  "  Deposition  "  by 
Botticini,  one  of  Verrocchio's  pupils,  with  a  gay  little 
predella  underneath  it,  and  a  pretty  "Holy  Family"  by 
Franciabigio.     But  Andrea  remains  the  king  of  the  walls. 

From"i;this  Sala  a  little  room  is  gained  which  I  advise 
all  tired  visitors  to  the  Uffizi  to  make  their  harbour  of 
refuge  and  recuperation  ;  for  it  has  only  three  or  four 
pictures  in  it  and  three  or  four  pieces  of  sculpture  and 
some  pleasant  maps  and  tapestry  on  the  walls,  and  from  its 
windows  you  look  across  the  brown-red  tiles  to  S.  Miniato. 
The  pictures,  although  so  few,  are  peculiarly  attractive, 
being  the  work  of  two  very  rare  hands,  Piero  della  Fran- 
cesca  (?  1398-1492)  and  Melozzo  da  Forli  (1488-1494). 
Melozzo  has  here  a  very  charming  Annunciation  in  two 

THE    AIADOWV     liF.L    CARDKI.LI  N  O    (<")F    THE    CH  A  !■  FI  MMI ) 
|■.^'    liAI'HAEI.    IN    TI-II^    LFKIZl 


panels,  the  fascination  of  which  I  cannot  describe.  That 
they  are  fascinating  there  is,  however,  no  doubt.  We  have 
symbolical  figures  by  him  in  our  National  Gallery — again 
hanging  next  to  Piero  della  Francesca — but  they  are  not 
the  equal  of  these  in  charm,  although  very  charming. 
These  grow  more  attractive  with  every  visit:  the  eager 
advancing  angel  with  his  lily,  and  the  timid  little  Virgin  in 
her  green  dress,  with  folded  hands. 

The  two  Pieros  are,  of  course,  superb.  Piero  never 
painted  anything  that  was  not  distinguished  and  liquid, 
and  here  he  gives  us  of  his  best :  portraits  of  Federigo  da 
Montefeltro,  Duke  of  Urbino,  and  Battista,  his  second 
Duchess,  with  classical  scenes  behind  them.  Piero  della 
Francesca  has  ever  been  one  of  my  favourite  painters,  and 
here  he  is  wholly  a  joy.  Of  his  works  Florence  has  but  few, 
since  he  was  not  a  Florentine,  nor  did  he  work  here,  being 
engaged  chiefly  at  Urbino,  Ferrara^  Arezzo,  and  Rome. 
His  life  ended  sadly,  for  he  became  totally  blind.  In  ad- 
dition to  his  painting  he  was  a  mathematician  of  much 
repute.  The  Duke  of  Urbino  here  depicted  is  Federigo  da 
Montefeltro,  who  ruled  from  1444  to  1482,  and  in  1459 
manied  as  his  second  wife  a  daughter  of  Alessandro  Sforza, 
of  Pesaro,  the  wedding  being  the  occasion  of  Piero's  pic- 
tures. The  duke  stands  out  among  the  many  Italian  lords 
of  that  time  as  a  humane  and  beneficent  ruler  and  collector, 
and  eager  to  administer  well.  He  was  a  born  fighter,  and 
it  was  owing  to  the  loss  of  his  right  eye  and  the  fracture  of 
his  noble  old  nose  that  he  is  seen  here  in  such  a  determined 
profile  against  the  lovely  light  over  the  Umbrian  hills.  The 
symbolical  chariots  in  the  landscape  at  the  back  represent 
respectively  the  Triumph  of  Fame  (the  Duke's)  and  the 
Triumph  of  Chastity  (that  of  the  Duchess).  The  Duke's 
companions  are  Victory,  Prudence,  Fortitude,  Justice,  and 


Temperance ;  the  little  Duchess's  are  Love,  Hope,  Faith, 
Chai-ity,  and  Innocence ;  and  if  these  are  not  exquisite 
pictures  I  never  saw  any. 

The  statues  in  the  room  should  not  be  missed,  particularly 
the  little  Genius  of  Love,  the  Bacchus  and  Ampelos,  and 
the  spoilt  little  comely  boy  supposed  to  represent — and 
quite  conceivably — the  infant  Nero. 

Crossing  the  large  Tuscan  room  again,  we  come  to  a 
little  narrow  room  filled  with  what  are  now  called  cabinet 
pictures  :  far  too  many  to  study  properly,  but  comprising 
a  benignant  old  man's  head.  No.  1167,  which  is  sometimes 
called  a  Filippino  Lippi  and  sometimes  a  Masa«cio,  a  frag- 
ment of  a  fresco ;  a  boy  from  the  serene  perfect  hand  of 
Perugino,  No.  1217  ;  two  little  panels  by  Fra  Bartolommeo 
— No.  1161 — painted  for  a  tabernacle  to  hold  a  Donatello 
relief  and  representing  the  Circumcision  and  Nativity,  in 
colours,  and  at  the  back  a  pretty  Annunciation  in  mono- 
chrome; No.  1235,  on  the  opposite  wall,  a  very  sweet 
Mother  and  Child  by  the  same  artist ;  a  Perseus  liberating 
Andromeda,  by  Piero  di  Cosimo,  No.  1312 ;  two  or  three 
Lorenzo  di  Credis ;  two  or  three  AUoris  ;  a  portrait  of 
Galeazzo  Maria  Sforza,  by  Antonio  PoUaiuolo ;  and  three 
charming  little  scenes  from  the  lives  of  S.  John  the  Baptist 
and  the  Virgin,  by  Fra  Angelico,  which  belong  properly  to 
the  predella  of  an  altar-piece  that  we  saw  in  the  first  room 
we  entered— No.  1290,  "  The  Coronation  of  the  Virgin  ". 
No.  1162  has  the  gayest  green  dress  in  it  imaginable. 

And  here  we  enter  the  Tiibuna,  which  is  to  the  Uflizi 
what  the  Salon  Carre  is  to  the  Louvre :  the  special  treasure- 
room  of  the  gallery,  holding  its  most  valuable  pictures.  But 
to-day  there  are  as  good  works  outside  it  as  in ;  for  the 
Michelangelo  has  been  moved  to  another  room,  and  Botticelli 
(to  name  no  other)  is  not  represented  here  at  all.     Prob- 


ably  the  statue  famous  as  the  Venus  de'  Medici  would  be 
considered  the  Tribuna's  chief  possession  ;  but  not  by  me. 
Nor  should  I  vote  either  for  Titian's  Venus.  In  sculpture 
I  should  choose  rather  the  "  Knife-sharpener,"  and  among 
the  pictures  Raphael's  "  Madonna  del  Cardellino,"  No.  1129. 
But  this  is  not  to  suggest  that  everything  is  not  a  master- 
piece, for  it  is.  Beginning  at  the  door  leading  from  the 
room  of  the  little  pictures,  we  find,  on  our  left,  Raphael's 
"  Ignota,"  No.  1120,  so  rich  and  unfeeling,  and  then  Francia's 
portrait  of  Evangelista  Scappi,  so  rich  and  real  and  a 
picture  that  one  never  forgets.  Raphael's  Julius  II  comes 
next,  not  so  powerful  as  the  version  in  the  Pitti,  and  above 
that  Titian's  famous  Venus.  In  Pei-ugino's  portrait  of 
Francesco  delle  Opere,  No.  287,  we  find  an  evening  sky  and 
landscape  still  more  lovely  than  Francia's.  This  Francesco 
was  brother  of  Giovanni  delle  Comiole,  a  protege  of 
Lorenzo  de'  Medici,  famous  as  a  carver  of  intaglios,  whose 
portrait  of  Savonarola  .in  this  medium,  now  preserved  in 
the  Ufflzi,  in  the  Gem  Room,  was  said  by  Michelangelo  to 
carry  art  to  its  farthest  possible  point. 

A  placid  and  typical  Perugino — the  Virgin  and  two  saints 
— comes  next,  and  then  a  northern  air  sweeps  in  with  Van 
Dyck's  Giovanni  di  Montfort,  now  darkening  into  gloom 
but  very  fine  and  commanding.  Titian's  second  Venus  is 
above,  for  which  his  daughter  Lavinia  acted  as  model  (the 
Venus  of  the  other  version  being  possibly  the  Marchesa 
della  Rovere),  and  under  it  is  the  only  Luini  in  the  Uffizi, 
unmistakably  from  the  sweet  hand  and  full  of  Leonard- 
esque  influence.  Beneath  this  is  a  rich  and  decorative 
work  of  the  Veronese  school,  a  portrait  of  Elisabetta  Gon- 
zaga,  with  another  evening  sky.  Then  we  go  north  again, 
to  Diirer's  Adoration  of  the  Magi,  a  picture  full  of 
pleasant  detail — a  little  mountain  town  here,  a  knight  in 


diffictilties  with  his  horse  there,  two  butterflies  close  to  the 
Madonna — and  interesting  also  for  the  treatment  of  the 
main  theme  in  Diirer's  masterly  careful  way  ;  and  then  to 
Spain  to  Spagnoletto's  "  S.  Jerome  "  in  sombre  chiaroscuro ; 
then  north  again  to  a  painfully  real  Christ  crowned  with 
thorns,  by  Lucas  van  Leyden,  and  the  mousy,  Reynoldsy, 
fii-st  wife  of  Peter  Paul  Rubens,  while  a  Van  Dyck  portrait 
under  a  superb  Domenichino  and  an  "  Adam  and  Eve  "  by 
Lucas  Cranach  complete  the  northern  group.  And  so 
we  come  to  the  two  Corx'eggios — so  accomplished  and  rich 
and  untouching — all  delightful  virtuosity  without  feeling. 
The  favourite  is,  of  course,  No.  1184,  for  its  adorable  Baby, 
whose  natural  charm  atones  for  its  theatrical  Mother. 

On  the  other  side  of  the  door  is  No.  1129,  the  perfect 
"  Madonna  del  Cardellino  "  of  Raphael,  so  called  from  the 
goldfinch  that  the  little  boys  are  caressing.  This,  one  is 
forced  to  consider  one  of  the  perfect  pictures  of  the  world, 
even  though  others  may  communicate  more  pleasure.  The 
landscape  is  so  exquisite  and  the  mild  sweetness  of  the 
whole  work  so  complete  ;  and  yet,  although  the  technical 
mastery  is  almost  thrilling,  the  "Madonna  del  Pozzo" 
by  Andrea  del  Sarto's  friend  Fi-anciabigio,  close  by — 
No.  1125 — arouses  infinitely  livelier  feelings  in  the  ob- 
server, so  much  movement  and  happiness  has  it.  Raphael 
is  perfect  but  cold  ;  Franciabigio  is  less  perfect  (although 
exceedingly  accomplished)  but  warm  with  life.  The  charm 
of  this  picture  is  as  notable  as  the  skill  of  Raphael's  :  it  is 
wholly  joyous,  and  the  little  Madonna  really  once  lived. 
Both  are  reproduced  in  this  volume. 

Raphael's  neighbouring  youthful  "  John  the  Baptist "  is 
almost  a  Giorgione  for  richness,  but  is  as  truly  Raphael  as 
the  Sebastian  del  Piombo,  once  (like  the  Franciabigio  also) 
called  a  Raphael,  is  not.     How  it  came  to  be  considered 


Raphael,  except  that  there  may  be  a  faint  likeness  to  the 
Fornarina,  is  a  mystery. 

The  rooms  next  the  Tribuna  have  for  some  time  been 
under  reconstruction,  and  of  these  I  say  little,  nor  of 
what  pictures  ai-e  to  be  placed  there.  But  with  the 
Tribuna,  in  any  case,  the  collection  suddenly  declines, 
begins  to  crumble.  The  first  of  these  rooms,  in  the  spring 
of  this  year,  1912,  was  opened  with  a  number  of  small  Italian 
paintings ;  but  they  are  probably  only  temporarily  there. 
Chief  among  them  was  a  Parmigianino,  a  Boltraffio,  a 
pretty  little  Guido  Reni,  a  Cosimo  Tura,  a  Lorenzo  Costa, 
but  nothing  really  important. 

In  the  tiny  Gem  Room  at  the  end  of  the  conidor  are 
wonders  of  the  lapidary's  art — and  here  is  the  famous 
intaglio  portrait  of  Savonarola — ^but  they  want  better 
treatment.  The  vases  and  other  ornaments  should  have 
the  light  all  round  them,  as  in  the  Galerie  d'ApoUon  at 
the  Louvre.  These  are  packed  together  in  wall  cases  and 
are  hard  to  see. 

Passing  through  the  end  corridor,  where  the  beautiful 
Matrona  i-eclines  so  placidly  on  her  couch  against  the 
light,  and  where  we  have  such  pleasant  views  of  the  Ponte 
Vecchio,  the  Trinita  bridge,  the  Amo,  and  the  Apennines,  so 
fresh  and  real  and  soothing  after  so  much  paint,  we  come  to 
the  rooms  containing  the  famous  collection  of  self-painted 
portraits,  which,  moved  hither  from  Rome,  has  been  accu- 
mulating in  the  Uffizi  for  many  years  and  is  still  groAving, 
to  be  invited  to  contribute  to  it  being  one  of  the  highest 
honours  a  painter  can  receive.  The  portraits  occupy  eight 
rooms  and  a  passage  Though  the  collection  is  historically 
and  biographically  valuable,  it  contains  for  every  interest- 
ing poiiiait  three  or  four  dull  ones,  and  thus  becomes  some- 
thing of  a  weariness.     Among  the  best  are  Lucas  Cranach, 


Anton  More,  Van  Dyck,  Rembrandt  (three),  Rubens,  Sey- 
bold,  Jordaens,  Reynolds,  and  Romney,  all  of  which  remind 
us  of  Michelangelo's  diy  comment,  "  Every  painter  draws 
himself  well ".  Among  the  most  interesting  to  us,  wander- 
ing in  Florence,  are  the  two  Andreas,  one  youthful  and 
the  other  grown  fatter  than  one  likes  and  very  different 
from  the  melancholy  romantic  figure  in  the  Pitti ;  VeiToc- 
chio,  by  Lorenzo  di  Credi ;  Carlo  Dolci,  surprising  by  its 
good  sense  and  humour;  Raphael,  angelic,  wistftd,  and 
weak ;  Tintoretto,  old  and  powerful ;  and  Jacopo  Bassano, 
old  and  simple.  Among  the  moderns,  Corot's  portrait  of 
himself  is  one  of  the  most  memorable,  but  Fantin  Latour, 
Flandrin,  Leon  Bonnat,  and  Lenbach  are  aU  strong  and 
modest ;  which  one  cannot  say  of  our  own  Leighton. 
Among  the  later  English  heads  Orchardson's  is  notable, 
but  Mr.  Sargent's  is  disappointing. 

We  now  come  to  one  of  the  most  remarkable  rooms 
in  the  gallery,  where  every  picture  is  a  gem ;  but  since  all 
are  northern  pictures,  imported,  I  give  no  reproductions. 
This  is  the  Sala  di  Van  der  Goes,  so  called  from  the  great 
work  here,  the  triptych,  painted  in  1474  to  1 477  by  Hugo 
van  der  Goes,  who  died  in  1482,  and  was  born  at  Ghent  or 
Leyden  about  1405.  This  painter,  of  whose  genius  there  can 
be  no  question,  is  supposed  to  have  been  a  pupil  of  the 
Van  Eycks.  Not  much  is  known  of  him  save  that  he 
painted  at  Bruges  and  Ghent  and  in  1476  entered  a  con- 
vent at  Brussels  where  he  was  allowed  to  dine  with  dis- 
tinguished strangers  who  came  to  see  him  and  where  he 
drank  so  much  wine  that  his  natural  excitability  turned  to 
insanity.  He  seems,  however,  to  have  recovered,  and  if  ever 
a  picture  showed  few  signs  of  a  deranged  or  inflamed  mind 
it  is  this,  which  was  painted  for  the  agent  of  the  Medici 
bank  at  Bruges,  Tommaso  Portinari,  who  presented  it  to 


the  Hospital  of  S.  Maria  Nuova  in  his  native  city  of 
Florence,  which  had  been  founded  by  his  ancestor  Folco,  the 
father  of  Dante's  Beatrice.  The  left  panel  shows  Tommaso 
praying  with  his  two  sons  Antonio  and  Pigallo,  the  right 
his  wife  Maria  Portinari  and  their  adorably  quaint  little 
daughter  with  her  charming  head-dress  and  costume.  The 
flowers  in  the  centre  panel  are  among  the  most  beauti- 
fiil  things  in  any  Florentine  picture :  not  wild  and  way- 
wai-d  like  Luca  Signorelli's,  but  most  exquisitely  done  : 
irises,  red  lilies,  columbines  and  dark  red  clove  pinks — all 
unexpected  and  all  very  unlikely  to  be  in  such  a  wintry 
landscape  at  all.  On  the  ground  are  violets.  The  whole 
work  is  grave,  austere,  cool,  and  as  diflFerent  as  can  be 
from  the  Tuscan  spirit ;  yet  it  is  said  to  have  had  a  deep 
influence  on  the  painters  of  the  time  and  must  have  drawn 
throngs  to  the  Hospital  to  see  it. 

The  other  Flemish  and  Genman  pictures  in  the  room  are 
all  remarkable  and  all  warmer  in  tone.  No.  906,  ah  un- 
known work,  is  perhaps  the  finest :  a  Crucifixion,  which 
might  have  borrowed  its  richness  from  the  Carpaccio,  we 
saw  in  the  Venetian  room.  There  is  a  fine  Adoration  of 
the  Magi,  by  Gerard  David  (1460-1623) ;  an  unknown  por- 
trait of  Pierantonio  Baroncelli  and  his  wife,  with  a  lovely 
landscape ;  a  jewel  of  paint  by  Hans  Memling  (1425-1492) 
— No.  703 — the  Madonna  Enthroned ;  a  masterpiece  of 
drawing  by  Dxirer,  "  Calvary  " ;  an  austere  and  poignant 
Transportation  of  Christ  to  the  Sepulchre,  by  Roger  van  der 
Weyden  (1400-1464) ;  atid  several  very  beautiful  portraits 
by  Memling,  notably  Nos.  769  and  780  with  their  lovely 
evening  light.  Memling,  indeed,  I  never  liked  better  than 
here.  Other  fine  pictures  are  a  Spanish  prince  by  Lucas  van 
Leyden ;  an  old  Dutch  scholar  by  an  artist  unknown.  No. 
784 ;  and  a  young  husband  and  wife  by  Joost  van  Cleef  the 


Elder,  and  a  Breughel  the  Elder,  like  an  old  Crome— a 
beauty— No.  928.  The  room  is  interesting  both  for  itself 
and  also  as  showing  how  the  Flemish  brushes  were  working 
at  the  time  that  so  many  of  the  great  Italians  were  en- 
gaged on  similar  themes. 

After  the  cool,  self-contained,  scientific  work  of  these 
northerners  it  is  a  change  to  enter  the  Sala  di  Rubens  and 
find  that  luxuriant  giant— their  compatriot,  but  how 
different ! — once  more.  In  the  Uffizi,  Rubens  seems  more 
foreign,  far,  than  any  one,  so  fleshly  pagan  is  he.  In  Ant- 
werp Cathedral  his  "  Descent  from  the  Cross,"  although 
its  bravura  is,  as  always  with  him,  more  noticeable  than  its 
piety,  might  be  called  a  religious  picture,  but  I  doubt  if 
even  that  would  seem  so  here.  At  any  rate  his  Uffizi  works 
are  all  secular,  while  his  "Holy  Family  "  in  the  Pitti  is  merely 
domestic  and  robust.  His  Florentine  masteipieces  are  the 
two  Henri  IV  pictures  in  this  room,  "  Henri  IV  at  Ivry," 
magnificent  if  not  war,  and  "  Henri's  entry  into  Paris 
after  Iviy,"  with  its  confusing  muddle  of  naked  warriors 
and  spears.  Only  Rubens  could  have  painted  these 
spirited,  impossible,  glorious  things,  which  for  all  their 
greatness  send  one's  thoughts  back  longingly  to  the  portrait 
of  his  wife,  in  the  Tribuna,  while  No.  216 — the  Baccha- 
na;le — is  so  coarse  as  almost  to  send  one's  feet  there  too. 

Looking  round  the  room,  after  Rubens  has  been  dismissed, 
it  is  too  evident  that  the  best  of  the  Uffizi  collection  is 
behind  us.  There  are  interesting  portraits  here,  but  bio- 
graphically  rather  than  artistically.  Here  are  one  or  two 
fine  Sustermans'  (1597-1681),  that  imported  painter  whom 
we  shall  find  in  such  rare  form  at  the  Pitti.  Here,  for 
example,  is  Ferdinand  II,  who  did  so  much  for  the  Uffizi 
and  so  little  for  Galileo ;  and  his  cousin  and  wife  Vittoria 
della  Rovere,  daughter  of  Claudia  de'  Medici  (whose  por- 

:,..'^y.lKia-.^    'J-i>:i^'1'^'>Jii^< 

THK     MAIiCWA     DEI,     POZZO    (OF    Till:     WEIL) 
I'NMM     Tflf-:     IAIN  I  [Mi     \:\      F"I.-ANLIA|;[<.,1('    r  .\     "1  H  I-     LMI/I 


trait,  No.  763,  is  on  the  easel),  and  Federigo  della  Rovere, 
Duke  of  Urbino.  This  silly,  plump  lady  had  been  married 
at  the  age  of  fourteen,  and  she  brought  her  husband  a  little 
money  and  many  pictures  from  Urbino,  notably  those 
delightful  portraits  of  an  earlier  Duke  and  Duchess  of  Ur- 
bino by  Piero  della  Francesca,  and  also  the  two  Titian 
"  Venuses  "  in  the  Tribuna.  Ferdinand  II  and  his  Grand 
Duchess  were  on  bad  terms  for  most  of  their  lives,  and  she 
behaved  foolishly,  and  brought  up  her  son  Cosimo  III  fool- 
ishly, and  altogether  was  a  misfortune  to  Florence.  Suster- 
mans  the  painter  she  held  in  the  highest  esteem,  and  in 
return  he  painted  her  not  only  as  herself  but  in  various 
unlikely  characters,  among  them  a  Vestal  Virgin  and  even 
the  Madonna. 

Here  also  is  No.  196,  Van  Dyck's  portrait  of  Margherita 
of  Lorraine,  whose  daughter  became  Cosimo  Ill's  wife — 
a  mischievous,  weak  face  but  magnificently  painted  ;  and 
No.  1536,  a  vividly-painted  elderly  widow  by  Jordaens 
(1593-1678)  ;  and  on  each  side  of  the  outrageous  Rubens  a 
distinguished  Dutch  gentleman  and  lady  by  the  placid, 
refined  Mierevelt. 

The  two  priceless  rooms  devoted  to  Iscrizioni  come  next, 
but  we  will  finish  the  pictm-es  first  and  therefore  pass 
on  to  the  Sala  di  Baroccio,  Federigo  Baroccio  (1528-1612) 
is  one  of  the  later  painters  for  whom  I,  at  any  rate, 
cannot  feel  any  enthusiasm.  His  position  in  the  Uflizi  is 
due  rather  to  the  circumstance  that  he  was  a  prot6g6  of 
the  Cardinal  della  Rovere  at  Rome,  whose  collection  came 
here,  than  to  his  genius.  This  room  again  is  of  interest 
rather  historically  than  artistically.  Here,  for  example, 
are  some  good  Medici  portraits  by  Bronzino,  among  them 
the  famous  Eleanora  of  Toledo,  wife  of  Cosimo  I,  in  a 
rich  brocade  (in  which  she  was  buried),  with  the  little  staring 


Ferdinand  I  beside  her.  Eleanora,  as  we  saw  in  chapter  V. 
was  the  first  mistress  of  the  Pitti  palace,  and  the  lady  who 
so  disliked  Cellini  and  got  him  into  such  trouble  through 
his  lying  tongue.  Bronzino's  little  Maria  de'  Medici— No 
1164 — is  more  pleasing,  for  the  other  picture  has  a  sinister 
air.  This  child,  the  first-born  of  Cosimo  I  and  Eleanora, 
died  when  only  sixteen.  Baroccio  has  a  fine  portrait — 
Francesco  Maria  II,  last  Duke  of  Urbino,  and  the  giand- 
father  of  the  Vittoria  della  Rovere  whom  we  saw  in  the 
Sala  di  Rubens.  Here  also  is  a  portrait  of  Lorenzo  the 
Magnificent  by  Vasari,  but  it  is  of  small  value  since 
Vasari  was  not  born  till  after  Lorenzo's  death.  The  Gal- 
ileo by  Sustermans — No.  163 — on  the  contrary  would  be 
from  life ;  and  after  the  Tribuna  portrait  of  Rubens'  first 
wife  it  is  interesting  to  find  here  his  pleasant  portrait  of 
Helen  Fourment,  his  second.  To  my  eyes  two  of  the 
most  attractive  pictures  in  the  room  are  the  Young  Sculptor 
— No.  1266 — by  Bi-onzino,  and  the  version  of  Leonaido's 
S.  Anne  at  the  Louvre  by  Andrea  Salaino  of  Milan  (1483  ?  - 
1520  ?).  I  like  also  the  hints  of  tenderness  of  Bernai-dino 
Luini  which  break  through  the  hardness  of  the  Aurelio 
Luini  picture — No.  204.  For  the  rest  there  are  some 
sickly  Guido  Renis  and  Carlo  Dolcis  and  a  sentimental 

But  the  most  popular  works — on  Sundays — are  the  two 
Gerard  Honthorsts,  and  not  without  reason,  for  they 
are  dramatic  and  jbold  and  vivid,  and  there  is  a  Baby  in 
each  that  goes  straight  to  the  maternal  heart.  No.  157  is 
perhaps  the  more  satisfying,  but  I  have  more  reason  to 
remember  the  larger  one — the  Adoration  of  the  Shep- 
herds— for  I  watched  a  copyist  produce  a  most  remark- 
able replica  of  it  in  something  under  a  week,  on  the  same 
scale.    He  was  a  short,  swarthy  man  with  a  neck  like  a 


bull's,  and  he  earned  the  task  off  with  astonishing  brio, 
never  drawing  a  line,  finishing  each  part  as  he  came  to  it, 
and  talking  to  a  friend  or  an  official  the  whole  time. 
Somehow  one  felt  him  to  be  precisely  the  type  of  copyist 
that  Gherardo  della  Notte  ought  to  have.  This  painter 
was  born  at  Utrecht  in  1590  but  went  eai'ly  to  Italy,  and 
settling  in  Rome  devoted  himself  to  mastering  the  methods 
'of  Amerighi,  better  known  as  Caravaggio  (1669-1609),  who 
specialized  in  strong  contrasts  of  light  and  shade.  After 
learning  all  he  could  in  Rome,  Honthorst  returned  to 
Holland  and  made  much  money  and  fame,  for  his  hand  was 
swift  and  sure.  Chai-les  I  engaged  him  to  decorate  White- 
hall. He  died  in  1666.  These  two  Honthorsts  are,  as  I 
say,  the  most  popular  of  the  pictures  on  Sunday,  when  the 
Uffizi  is  free ;  but  their  supremacy  is  challenged  by  the 
five  inlaid  tables,  one  of  which,  chiefly  in  lapis  lazuli,  must 
be  the  bluest  thing  on  earth. 

Passing  for  the  present  the  Sala  di  Niobe,  we  come  to  the 
Sala  di  Giovanni  di  San  Giovanni,  which  is  given  to  a 
second-rate  painter  who  was  bom  in  1599  and  died  in 
1636.  His  best  work  is  a  fresco  at  the  Badia  of  Fiesole. 
Here  he  has  some  theatrical  things,  including  one  picture 
which  sends  English  ladies  out  blushing.  Here  also  are 
some  Lelys,  including  "  Nelly  Gwynn  ".  Next  ai-e  two  rooms, 
one  leading  from  the  other,  given  to  German  and  Flemish 
pictures  and  to  miniatures,  both  of  which  are  interesting. 
In  the  first  are  more  Diirers,  and  that  alone  would  make  it 
a  desirable  resort.  Here  is  a  "  Virgin  and  Child  " — No. 
851 — ^very  naive  and  homely,  and  the  beautiful  portrait  of 
his  father — No.  766 — a  symphony  of  brown  and  gi-een. 
Less  attractive  works  from  the  same  hand  are  the  "Apostle 
Philip" — No.  777 — and  "S.  Giacomo  Maggiore,"  an  old 
man  very  coarsely  painted  by  comparison  with  the  artist's 


father.  Here  also  is  a  very  beautiful  portrait  of  Richard 
Southwell,  by  Holbein,  with  the  peacock-green  background 
that  we  know  so  well  and  always  rejoice  to  see ;  a  typical 
candle-light  Schalckeu,  No.  800 ;  several  golden  Poelen- 
burghs ;  an  anonymous  portrait  of  Virgilius  von  Hytta 
of  Zuicham,  No.  784  ;  a  clever  smiling  lady  by  Suster- 
mans.  No.  709 ;  the  Signora  Puliciani  and  her  husband, 
No.  699  ;  a  rather  ci-udely  coloured  Rubens — "  Venus  and 
Adonis  " — No.  812  ;  the  same  artist's  "  Three  Graces,"  in 
monochrome,  very  naked  ;  and  some  quaint  portraits  by 
Lucas  Cranach. 

But  no  doubt  to  many  persons  the  most  enchaining 
picture  here  is  the  Medusa's  head,  which  used  to  be  called 
a  Leonardo  and  quite  satisfied  Ruskin  of  its  genuine- 
ness, but  is  now  attributed  to  the  Flemish  school.  The 
head,  at  any  rate,  would  seem  to  be  very  similar  to  that  of 
which  Vasari  speaks,  painted  by  Leonardo  for  a  peasant, 
but  retained  by  his  father.  Time  has  dealt  hardly  with 
the  paint,  and  one  has  to  study  minutely  before  Medusa's 
horrors  are  visible.  Whether  Leonardo's  or  not,  it  is  not 
uninteresting  to  read  how  the  picture  affected  Shelley  when 
he  saw  it  here  in  1819  : — 

...  Its  Horror  and  its  Beauty  are  divine. 
Upon  its  lips  and  eyelids  seem  to  lie 
Loveliness  like  a  shadow,  from  which  shine, 
Fiery  and  lurid,  struggling  underneath, 
The  agonies  of  anguish  and  of  death. 

The  little  room  leading  from  this  one  should  be  neglected 
by  no  one  interested  in  Medicean  history,  for  most  of  the 
family  is  here,  in  miniature,  by  Bronzino's  hand.  Here  also 
are  miniatures  by  other  great  paintei-s,  such  as  Pourbus, 
Guido  Reni,  Bassano,  Clouet,  Holbein.     Look  particularly 

yiEsnLE    FROM    THE    HILL    UNDER    L}IE    MOXA^TEKY 


at  No,  3382,  a  woman  with  brown  hair,  in  pui-ple — a  most 
fascinating  little  picture.  The  Ignota  in  No.  3848  might 
easily  be  Henrietta  Maria,  wife  of  Charles  I  of  England. 
The  other  exhibits  are  copies  in  miniature  of  famous  pic- 
tures, notable  among  them  a  Raphael — No.  3386 — and  a 
Breughel — No.  3445 — while  No.  3341,  the  robing  of  a  monk, 
is  worth  attention. 

We  come  now  to  the  last  pictures  of  the  collection — 
in  three  little  rooms  at  the  end,  near  the  bronze  sleeping 
Cupid.  Those  in  the  first  room  were  being  rearranged  when 
I  was  last  here ;  the  others  contain  Dutch  works  notable 
for  a  few  masterpieces.  There  are  too  many  Poelenburghs, 
but  the  taste  shown  as  a  whole  is  good.  Pei'haps  to  the 
English  enthusiast  for  painting  the  fine  landscape  by  Her- 
cules Seghers  will,  in  view  of  the  recent  agitation  over  Lord 
Lansdowne's  Rembrandt,  "The  Mill," — ascribed  in  some 
quarters  to  Seghers — be  the  most  interesting  picture  of 
all.  It  is  a  sombre,  powerful  scene  of  rugged  coast 
which  any  artist  would  have  been  proud  to  sign  ;  but  it 
in  no  way  recalls  "  The  Mill's  "  serene  strength.  Among 
the  best  of  its  companions  are  a  vei-y  good  Terburg,  a  very 
good  Metsu,  and  an  extremely  beautiful  Ruysdael. 

And  so  we  are  at  the  end  of  the  pictures — but  only  to 
return  again  and  again — and  are  not  unwilling  to  fall  into 
the  trap  of  the  official  who  sits  here,  and  allow  him  to  un- 
lock the  door  behind  the  Laocoon  group  and  enjoy  what 
he  recommends  as  a  "bella  vista"  from  the  open  space, 
which  turns  out  to  be  the  roof  of  the  liOggia  de'  Lanzi. 
Prom  this  high  point  one  may  see  much  of  Florence  and  its 
mountains,  while,  on  looking  down,  over  the  coping,  one 
finds  the  busy  Piazza  della  Signoria  below,  with  all  its  cabs 
and  wayfarers. 

Returning  to  the  gallery,  we  come  quickly  on  the  right 


to  the  first  of  the  neglected  statuary  rooms,  the  beautiful 
Sala  di  Niobe,  which  contains  some  interesting  Medicean  and 
other  tapestries,  and  the  sixteen  statues  of  Niobe  and  her 
children  from  the  Temple  of  Apollo,  which  the  Cardinal 
Ferdinand  de'  Medici  acquired,  and  which  were  for  many 
years  at  the  Villa  Medici  at  Rome.  A  suggested  recon- 
struction of  the  group  will  be  found  by  the  door.  I  can- 
not pretend  to  a  deep  interest  in  the  figures,  but  I  like  to 
be  in  the  room.  The  famous  Medicean  vase  is  in  the 
middle  of  it.  Sculpture  more  ingratiating  is  close  by,  in 
the  two  rooms  given  to  Iscrizioni :  a  collection  of  priceless 
antiques  which  are  not  only  beautiful  but  peculiarly  in- 
teresting in  that  they  can  be  compared  with  the  work  of 
Donatello,  Venocchio,  and  other  of  the  Renaissance  sculp- 
tors. For  in  such  a  case  comparisons  are  anything  but 
odious  and  become  fascinating.  In  the  first  room  there  is, 
for  example,  a  Mercury,  isolated  on  the  left,  in  marble, 
who  is  a  blood  relation  of  Donatello's  bronze  David  in  the 
Bargello ;  and  certain  reliefs  of  men-y  children,  on  the 
right,  low  down,  as  one  approaches  the  second  room,  are 
cousins  of  the  same  sculptor's  cantoria  romps.  Not  that 
Donatello  ever  reproduced  the  antique  spirit  as  Michel- 
angelo nearly  did  in  his  Bacchus,  and  Sansovino  absolutely 
did  in  his  Bacchus,  both  at  the  Bargello :  Donatello  was 
of  his  time,  and  the  spirit  of  his  time  animates  his  creations, 
but  he  had  studied  the  Greek  art  in  Rome  and  profited  by 
his  lessons,  and  his  evenly-balanced  humane  mind  had  a 
warm  corner  for  pagan  joyfulness.  Among  other  statues 
in  this  first  room  is  a  Sacerdotessa,  wearing  a  marble  robe 
with  long  folds,  whose  hands  can  be  seen  through  the 
drapery.  Opposite  the  door  are  Bacchus  and  Ampelos, 
superbly  pagan,  while  a  sleeping  Cupid  is  most  lovely. 
Among  the  various  fine  heads  is  one  of  Cicero    of  an 


Unknown — No.  S77 — and  of  Homer  in  bronze  (called  by 
the  photographers  Aristophanes).  But  each  thing  in  turn  is 
almost  the  best.  The  trouble  is  that  the  Uffizi  is  so  vast, 
and  the  Renaissance  seems  to  be  so  eminently  the  only 
proper  study  of  mankind  when  one  is  here,  that  to  attune 
oneself  to  the  enjoyment  of  antique  sculpture  needs  a 
special  eifort  which  not  all  are  ready  to  make. 

In  the  centre  of  the  next  room  is  the  punctual  Herma- 
phrodite without  which  no  large  Continental  gallery  is 
complete.  But  more  worthy  of  attention  is  the  torso  of  a 
faun  on  the  left,  on  a  revolving  pedestal  which  (unlike 
those  in  the  Bargello,  as  we  shall  discover)  really  does 
revolve  and  enables  you  to  admire  the  perfect  back.  There 
is  also  a  torso  in  basalt  or  porphyry  which  one  should 
study  from  all  points,  and  on  the  walls  some  wonderful 
portions  of  a  frieze  from  the  Ara  Pacis,  erected  in  Rome, 
B.C.  18-9,  with  wonderful  figures  of  men,  women,  and 
children  on  it.  Among  the  heads  is  a  colossal  Alexander, 
very  fine  indeed,  a  beautiful  Antoninus,  a  benign  and  silly 
Roman  lady  in  whose  existence  one  can  quite  believe,  and 
a  melancholy  Seneca.  Look  also  at  Nos.  330  and  332,  on 
the  wall ;  330,  a  charming  genius,  can-ying  one  of  Jove's 
thunderbolts;  and  332,  a  boy  who  is  sheer  Luca  della 
Robbia  centuries  before  his  birth. 

I  ought  to  add  that,  in  addition  to  the  various  salons  in 
the  Uffizi,  the  long  corridors  are  hung  with  pictures  too,  in 
chronological  order,  the  earliest  of  all  being  to  the  right  of 
the  entrance  door,  and  in  the  corridors  there  is  also  some 
admirable  statuary.  But  the  pictures  here,  although  not 
the  equal  of  those  in  the  rooms,  receive  far  too  little  atten- 
tion, while  the  sculpture  receives  even  less,  whether  the 
beautiful  full-length  athletes  or  the  reliefs  on  the  cisterns, 
several  of  which  have  riotous  Dionysian  processions.     On 


the  stairs,  too,  are  some  very  beautiful  works ;  while  at 
the  top,  in  the  turnstile  room,  is  the  original  of  the  boar 
which  Tacca  copied  in  bronze  for  the  Mercato  Nuovo,  and 
just  outside  it  ai'e  the  Medici  who  were  chiefly  concerned 
with  the  formation  of  the  collection.  On  the  first  landing, 
neai'est  the  ground,  is  a  very  beautiful  and  youthful  Bacchus. 
The  ceilings  of  the  Uffizi  rooms  and  corridors  also  are 
painted,  thoughtfully  and  dexterously,  in  the  Pompeian 
manner ;  but  there  are  limits  to  the  receptive  capacity  of 
travellers'  eyes,  and  I  must  plead  guilty  to  consistently 
neglecting  them. 



Andrea  del   Sarto— Fiesole  sights— The  Villa  Palmier!  and  the  "  De- 
cameron "— Botticini's  picture  in  the  National  Gallery— S.  Francesco— 

The  Roman  amphitheatre — The  Etruscan  museum — A  sculptor's  walk 

The  Badia  di  Fiesole— Brunelleschi  again— Giovanni  di  San  Giovanni. 

AFTER  all  these  pictures,  how  about  a  little  climbing  ? 
From  so  many  windows  in  Florence,  along  so 
many  streets,  from  so  many  loggias  and  towers,  and 
perhaps,  above  all,  from  the  Piazzale  di  Michelangelo, 
Fiesok  is  to  be  seen  on  her  hill,  with  the  beautiful  cam- 
panile of  her  church  in  the  dip  between  the  two  eminences, 
that  very  soon  one  comes  to  feel  that  this  surely  is  the 
promised  land.  Florence  lies  so  low,  and  the  delectable 
mountain  is  so  near  and  so  alluring.  But  I  am  not  sure 
that  to  dream  of  Fiesole  as  desirable,  and  to  mm'mur  its 
beautiful  syllables,  is  not  best. 

Let  me  sit 
Here  by  the  window  with  your  hand  in  mine, 
And  look  a  half-hour  forth  on  Fiesole 

— that  was  Andrea's  way  and  not  an  unwise  one.  For 
Fiesole  at  nearer  view  can  easily  disappoint.  It  is  beauti- 
fully set  on  its  hill  and  it  has  a  fascinating  past ;  but  the 
journey  thither  on  foot  is  very  wearisome,  by  the  electric 
tram  vexatious  and  noisy,  and  in  a  horse-drawn  carriage 
expensive  and  cruel ;  and  when  you  are  there  you  become 



once  more  a  tourist  without  alleviation  and  are  pestered  by 
beggai's,  and  by  nice  little  girls  who  ought  to  know  better, 
whose  peculiar  importunacy  it  is  to  thrust  flowers  into  the 
hand  or  buttonhole  without  any  denial.  What  should 
have  been  a  mountain  retreat  from  the  city  has  become  a 
kind  of  Devil's  Dyke.  But  if  one  is  resolute,  and,  defying 
all,  walks  up  to  the  little  monastery  of  S.  Francesco  at  the 
very  top  of  the  hill,  one  may  rest  almost  undisturbed,  with 
Florence  in  the  valley  below,  and  gardens  and  vineyai'ds  un- 
dulating beneath,  and  a  monk  or  two  ascending  or  descend- 
ing the  steps,  and  three  or  four  picture-postcard  hawkers 
gambling  in  a  corner,  and  lizards  on  the  wall.  Here  it  is  good 
to  be  in  the  late  afternoon,  when  the  light  is  mellowing  ;  and 
if  you  want  tea  there  is  a  little  loggia  a  few  yards  down 
this  narrow  steep  path  where  it  may  be  found.  How  many 
beautiful  villas  in  which  one  could  be  happy  sunning  one- 
self among  the  lizards  lie  between  this  point  and  Florence ! 
Who,  sitting  here,  can  fail  to  think  that  ? 
In  walking  to  Fiesole  one  follows  the  high  walls  of  the 
'  Villa  Palmieri,  which  is  now  very  private  American  pro- 
perty, but  is  famous  for  ever  as  standing  on  the  site  of 
the  first  refuge  of  Boccaccio's  young  people  when  they 
fled  from  plague-stricken  Florence  in  1348  and  told 
tales  for  ten  halcyon  days.  It  is  now  generally  agreed 
that  if  Boccaccio  had  any  particular  house  in  his  mind  it 
was  this.  It  used  to  be  thought  that  the  Villa  Poggio" 
Gherardo,  Mrs.  Ross's  beautiful  home  on  the  way  to 
Settignano,  was  the  first  refuge,  and  the  Villa  Palmieri 
the  second,  but  the  latest  researches  have  it  that  the  Palmieri 
was  the  first  and  the  Podere  della  Fonte,  or  Villa  di  Boc- 
caccio, as  it  is  called,  near  Camerata,  a  little  village 
below  S.  Domenico,  the  other.  The  Villa  Palmieri  has 
another  and  somewhat  different  historical  association,  for 

MOXUMICNT   'lO   i;OUNT    ur.D 

\:\    MIMi    UA    FlFSllLIi    IN    THE    BAIUA 


it  was  there  that  Queen  Victoria  resided  for  a  while  in 
1888.  But  the  most  interesting  thing  of  all  about  it  is 
the  circumstance  that  it  was  the  home  of  Matteo  Palmieri, 
the  poet,  and  Botticelli's  friend  and  fellow-speculator  on 
the  riddle  of  life.  Palmieri  Was  the  author  of  a  remark- 
able poem  called  "  La  Cittk  della  Vita  "  (The  City  of  Life) 
which  developed  a  scheme  of  theology  that  had  many 
attractions  to  Botticelli's  curious  mind.  The  poem  was 
banned  by  Rome,  although  not  until  after  its  author's 
death.  In  our  National  Gallery  is  a  picture  which  used  to 
be  considered  Botticelli's* — No.  1126,  "  The  Assumption 
of  the  Virgin  " — especially  as  it  is  mentioned  with  some 
particulai'ity  by  Vasari,  together  with  the  circumstance 
that  the  poet  and  painter  devised  it  in  collaboration, 
in  which  the  poem  is  translated  into  pigment.  As  to  the 
theology,  I  say  nothing,  nor  as  to  its  new  ascription  to 
Botticini ;  but  the  picture  has  a  greater  interest  for  us  in 
that  it  contains  a  view  of  Florence  with  its  wall  of  towers 
around  it  in  about  1475.  The  exact  spot  where  the  painter 
sat  has  been  identified  by  Miss  Stokes  in  "Six  Months 
in  the  Apennines  ".  On  the  left  immediately  below  the 
painter's  vantage-ground  is  the  Mugnone,  with  a  bridge 
ov«r  it.  On  the  bank  in  front  is  the  Villa  Palmieri,  and 
on  the  picture's  extreme  left  is  the  Badia  of  Fiesole. 

On  leaving  S.  Domenico,  if  still  bent  on  walking,  one 
should  keep  straight  on  and  not  follow  the  tram  lines  to 
the  right.  This  is  the  old  and  terribly  steep  road  which 
Lorenzo  the  Magnificent  and  his  friends  Politian  and  Pico 
della  Mirandola  had  to  travel  whenever  they  visited  the 
Medici  villa,  just  under  Fiesole,  with  its  drive  lined  with 
cypresses.  Here  must  have  been  great  talk  and  much  con- 
viviality.    It  is  now  called  the  Villa  McCalmont. 

Once  at  Fiesole,  by  whatever  means  you  reach  it,  do  not 


neglect  to  climb  the  monastery  steps  to  the  very  top.  It  is 
a  day  of  climbing,  and  a  hundred  or  more  steps  either  way 
mean  nothing  now.  For  here  is  a  gentle  little  church 
with  swift,  silent  monks  in  it,  and  a  few  flowers  in  bowls, 
and  a  religious  picture  by  that  strange  Piero  di  Cosimo 
whose  heart  was  with  the  gods  in  exile  ;  and  the  view  of 
Monte  Cecei-i,  on  the  other  side  of  Fiesole,  seen  through 
the  cypresses  here,  which  could  not  be  better  in  disposition 
had  Benozzo  Gozzoli  himself  arranged  them,  is  very  striking 
and  memorable. 

Fiesole's  darling  son  is  Mino  the  sculptor — the  "  Raphael 
of  the  chisel" — whose  radiant  Madonnas  and  children 
and  delicate  tombs  may  be  seen  here  and  there  all  over 
Florence.  The  piazza  is  named  after  him  ;  he  is  celebrated 
on  a  marble  slab  outside  the  museum,  where  all  the  famous 
names  of  the  vicinity  may  be  read  too  ;  and  in  the  church 
is  one  of  his  most  charming  groups  and  finest  heads.  They 
are  in  a  little  chapel  on  the  right  of  the  choir.  The  head 
is  that  of  Bishop  Salutati,  humorous,  wise,  and  benign,  and 
the  group  represents  the  adoration  of  a  merry  little  Christ 
by  a  merry  little  S.  John  and  others.  As  for  the  church 
itself,  it  is  severe  and  cool,  with  such  stone  columns  in  it  as 
must  last  for  ever. 

But  the  main  interest  of  Fiesole  to  most  people  is  not 
the  cypress-covered  hill  of  S.  Francesco  ;  not  the  view 
from  the  summit ;  not  the  straw  mementoes ;  not  the 
Mino  relief  in  the  church ;  but  the  Roman  arena.  The 
excavators  have  made  of  this  a  very  complete  place.  One 
can  stand  at  the  top  of  the  steps  and  reconstruct  it  all — 
the  audience,  the  performance,  the  performers.  A  very 
little  time  spent  on  building  would  be  needed  to  restore 
the  amphitheatre  to  its  original  form.  Beyond  it  are 
.   baths,  and  in  a  hollow  the  remains  of  a  temple  with  the 


altar  where  it  ever  was ;  and  then  one  walks  a  little  farther 
and  is  on  the  ancient  Etruscan  wall,  built  when  Fiesole 
was  an  Etruscan  fortified  hill  city.  So  do  the  centuries 
fall  away  here !  But  everywhere,  among  the  ancient 
Roman  stones  so  massive  and  exact,  and  the  Etruscan 
stones,  are  the  wild  flowers  which  Luca  Signorelli  painted 
in  that  picture  in  the  Uffizi  which  I  love  so  much. 

After  the  amphitheatre  one  visits  the  Museum — with 
the  same  ticket — a  little  building  filled  with  trophies  of 
the  spade.  There  is  nothing  very  wonderful — nothing  to 
compare  with  the  treasures  of  the  Archaeological  Museum 
in  Florence — but  it  is  well  worth  a  visit. 

On  leaving  the  Museum  on  the  last  occasion  that  I  was 
there — in  April — I  walked  to  Settignano.  The  road  for 
a  while  is  between  houses,  for  Fiesole  stretches  a  long 
way  farther  than  one  suspects,  very  high,  looking  over  the 
valley  of  the  Mugnone ;  and  then  after  a  period  between  pine 
trees  and  grape-hyacinths  one  turns  to  the  right  and  begins 
to  descend.  Until  Poggio  del  Castello,  a  noble  villa,  on  an 
isolated  eminence,  the  descent  is  very  gradual,  with  views  of 
Florence  round  the  shoulder  of  Monte  Ceceri ;  but  afterwards 
the  road  winds,  to  ease  the  fall,  and  the  wayfarer  turns 
off  into  the  woods  and  tumbles  down  the  hill  by  a  dry 
water-course,  amid  crags  and  stones,  to  the  beginnings  of 
civilization  again,  at  the  Via  di  Desiderio  da  Settignano, 
a  sculptor  who  stands  to  his  native  town  in  precisely  the 
same  relation  as  Mino  to  his. 

Settignano  is  a  mere  village,  with  villas  all  about  it,  and 
the  thing  to  remember  there  is  not  only  that  Desiderio 
was  born  there  but  that  Michelangelo's  foster-mother 
was  the  wife  of  a  local  stone-cutter — stone-cutting  at  that 
time  being  the  staple  industry.  On  the  way  back  to  Flor- 
ence in  the  tram,  one  passes  on  the  right  a  gateway  sur- 


mounted  by  statues  of  theppets,  the  Villa  Poggio  Gherardo, 
of  which  I  have  spoken  earlier  in  the  chapter.  There  is 
no  villa  with  a  nobler  mien  than  this. 

That  is  one  walk  from  Fiesole.  Another  is  even  more 
a  sculptors'  way  :  for  it  would  include  Maiano  too,  where 
Benedetto  was  born.  The  road  is  by  way  of  the  tram  lines 
to  that  acute  angle  just  below  Fiesole  when  they  turn  back 
to  S.  Domenico,  and  so  straight  on  down  the  hill. 

But  if  one  is  returning  to  Florence  direct  after  leaving 
Fiesole  it  is  well  to  walk  down  the  precipitous  paths  to  S. 
Domenico,  and  before  again  taking  the  tram  visit  the 
Badia  overlooking  the  valley  of  the  Mugnone.  This  is 
done  by  turning  to  the  right  just  opposite  the  church  of 
S.  Domenico,  which  has  little  interest  structurally  but 
is  famous  as  being  the  chapel  of  the  monastery  where  Fra 
Angelico  was  once  a  monk.  The  Badia  (Abbey)  di  Fiesole, 
as  it  now  is,  was  built  on  the  site  of  an  older  monastery,  by 
Cosimo  Pater.  Here  Marsilio  Ficino's  Platonic  Academy 
used  to  meet,  in  the  loggia  and  in  the  little  temple 
which  one  gains  from  the  cloisters,  and  here  Pico  della 
Mirandola  composed  his  curious  gloss  on  Genesis. 

The  dilapidated  marble  facade  of  the  church  and  its 
rugged  stone-work  are  exceedingly  ancient — dating  in 
fact  from  the  eleventh  century ;  the  new  building  is  by 
Brunelleschi  and  to  my  mind  is  one  of  his  most  beautiful 
works,  its  lovely  proportions  and  cool,  unfretted  white 
spaces  communicating  even  more  pleasure  than  the  Pazzi 
chapel  itself  The  decoration  has  been  kept  simple  and 
severe,  and  the  colour  is  just  the  grey  pietra  serena  of 
Fiesole,  of  which  the  lovely  arches  are  made,  all  most  ex- 
quisitely chiselled,  and  the  pure  white  of  the  walls  and 
ceilings.  This  church  was  a  favourite  with  the  Medici 
and  the  youthful  Giovanni,  the  son  of  Lorenzo  the  Mag- 


nificent,  received  his  cardinal's  hat  here  in  1492,  at  the 
age  of  sixteen.  He  afterwards  became  Pope  Leo  X.  How 
many  of  the  boys,  now  in  the  school — for  the  monastery 
has  become  a  Jesuit  school — will,  one  wonders,  rise  to 
similar  eminence. 

In  the  beautiful  cloisters  we  have  the  same  colour 
scheme  as  in  the  church,  and  here  again  Brunelleschi's 
miraculous  genius  for  proportion  is  to  be  found.  Here 
and  there  are  foliations  and  other  exquisite  tracery  by 
pupils  of  Desiderio  da  Settignano.  The  refectory  has  a 
high-spirited  fresco  by  that  artist  whose  room  in  the 
UfEzi  is  so  carefully  avoided  by  discreet  chaperons — Gio- 
vanni di  San  Giovanni — representing  Christ  eating  at  a 
table,  his  ministrants  being  a  crowd  of  little  roguish 
angels  and  cherubim,  one  of  whom  (on  the  right)  is  in  de- 
spair at  having  broken  a  plate.  In  the  entrance  lobby 
is  a  lavabo  by  Mino  da  Fiesole,  with  two  little  boys  of 
the  whitest  and  softest  marble  on  it,  which  is  worth  study. 

And  now  we  will  return  to  the  heart  of  Florence  once 



Filippino  Lippi — Buffalmacco — Mino  da  Fiesole — The  Dante  quarter — 
Dante  and  Beatrice — Monna  Tessa — Gemma  Donati — Dante  in  exile — 
Dante  memorials  in  Florence — The  Torre  della  Castagna — The  Borgo 
degli  Albizzi  and  the  old  palaces — S.  Ambrogio — Mine's  tabernacle — 
Wayside  masterpieces — S.  Egidio. 

OPPOSITE  the  Bargello  is  a  church  with  a  very  beau- 
tiful doorway  designed  by  Benedetto  da  Rovezzano. 
This  church  is  known  as  the  Badia,  and  its  delicate  spire  is 
a  joy  in  the  landscape  from  every  point  of  vantage.  The 
Badia  is  very  ancient,  but  the  restorers  have  been  busy 
and  little  of  Arnolfo's  thu-teenth-century  work  is  left.  It 
is  chiefly  famous  now  for  its  Filippino  Lippi  and  two  tombs 
by  Mino  da  Fiesole,  but  historically  it  is  interesting  as 
being  the  burial-place  of  the  chief  Florentine  families  in 
the  Middle  Ages  and  as  being  the  scene  of  Boccaccio's 
lectures  on  Dante  in  1373.  The  Filippino  altar-piece, 
which  represents  S.  Bernard's  Vision  of  the  Virgin  (a  sub- 
ject we  shall  see  treated  very  beautifully  by  Fra  Barto- 
lommeo  at  the  Accademia)  is  one  of  the  most  perfect  and 
charming  pictures  by  this  artist :  very  grave  and  real  and 
sweet,  and  the  saint's  hands  exquisitely  painted.  The 
figure  praying  in  the  right-hand  corner  is  the  patron, 
Piero  di  Fi^ancesco  del  Pugliese,  who  commissioned  this 
picture  for  the  church  of  La  Campora,  outside  the  Porta 
Romana,  where  it  was  honoured  until  1529,  when  Clement 



VIFs  troops  advancing,  it  was  brought  here  for  safety  and 
has  here  remained. 

Close  by — in  the  same  chapel — is  a  little  door  which 
the  sacristan  will  open,  disclosing  a  portion  of  Amolfo's 
building  with  perishing  frescoes  which  are  attributed  to 
BufFalmacco,  an  artist  as  to  whose  reality  much  scepticism 
prevails.  They  are  not  in  themselves  of  much  interest, 
although  the  sacristan's  eagerness  should  not  be  dis- 
couraged ;  but  Buffalmacco  being  Boccaccio's,  Sacchetti's, 
Vasari's  (and,  later,  Anatole  France's)  amusing  hero,  it 
is  pleasant  to  look  at  his  work  and  think  of  his  freakish- 
ness.  Buffalmacco  (if  he  ever  existed)  was  one  of  the 
earlier  painters,  flourishing  between  1311  and  1350,  and 
was  a  pupil  of  Andrea  Tafi.  This  simple  man  he  plagued 
very  divei-tingly,  once  frightening  him  clean  out  of  his 
house  by  fixing  little  lighted  candles  to  the  backs  of 
beetles  and  steering  them  into  Tafi's  bedroom  at  night. 
Tafi  was  terrified,  but  on  being  told  by  BuiFalmacco 
(who  was  a  lazy  rascal)  that  these  devils  were  merely 
showing  their  objection  to  early  rising,  he  became  calm 
again,  and  agreed  to  lie  in  bed  to  a  reasonable  hour. 
Cupidity,  however,  conquering,  he  again  ordered  his  pupil 
to  be  up  betimes,  when  the  beetles  again  re-appeared  and 
continued  to  do  so  until  the  order  was  revoked. 

The  sculptor  Mino  da  Fiesole,  whom  we  shall  shortly 
see  again,  at  the  Bargello,  in  portrait  busts  and  Madonna 
reliefs,  is  at  his  best  here,  in  the  superb  monument  to 
Count  Ugo,  who  founded,  with  his  mother,  the  Benedictine 
Abbey  of  which  the  Badia  is  the  relic.  Here  all  Mino's 
sweet  thoughts,  gaiety  and  charm  are  apparent,  together 
with  the  perfection  of  radiant  workmanship.  The  quiet 
dignity  of  the  recumbent  figure  is  no  less  masterly  than  the 
group  above  it.    Note  the  impulsive  urgency  of  the  splendid 


Charity,  with  her  two  babies,  and  the  quiet  beauty  of  the 
Madonna  and  Child  above  all,  while  the  proportions  and 
delicate  patterns  of  the  tomb  as  a  whole  still  remain  to 
excite  one's  pleasure  and  admiration.  We  shall  see  many 
tombs  in  Florence — few  not  beautiful — but  none  more 
joyously  accomplished  than  this.  The  tomb  of  Carlo  Mar- 
suppini  in  S.  Croce  by  Desiderio  da  Settignano,  which 
awaits  us,  was  undoubtedly  the  parent  of  the  Ugo,  Mino 
following  his  master  very  closely ;  but  his  charm  was  his 
own.  According  to  Vasari,  the  Ugo  tomb  was  considered 
to  be  Mino's  finest  achievement,  and  he  deliberately  made 
the  Madonna  and  Child  as  like  the  types  of  his  beloved 
Desiderio  as  he  could.  It  was  finished  in  1481,  and  Mino 
died  in  1484,  from  a  chill  following  over-exertion  in  mov- 
ing heavy  stones.  Mino  also  has  here  a  monument  to 
Bernardo  Giugni,  a  famous  gonfalonier  in  the  time  of 
Cosimo  de'  Medici,  marked  by  the  same  distinction,  but 
not  quite  so  memorable.     The  Ugo  is  his  masterpiece. 

The  carved  wooden  ceiling,  which  is  a  very  wonderful 
piece  of  work  and  of  the  deepest  and  most  glorious  hue, 
should  not  be  forgotten ;  but  nothing  is  easier  than  to 
overlook  ceilings. 

The  cloisters  are  small,  but  they  atone  for  that — if  it  is 
a  fault — by  having  a  loggia.  From  the  loggia  the  top  of 
the  noble  tower  of  the  Palazzo  Vecchio  is  seen  to  perfection. 
Upon  the  upper  walls  is  a  series  of  frescoes  illustrating  the 
life  of  S.  Benedict  which  must  have  been  very  gay  and 
spirited  once  but  are  now  faded. 

The  Badia  may  be  said  to  be  the  heart  of  the  Dante 
quarter.  Dante  must  often  have  been  in  the  church  before 
it  was  restored  as  we  now  see  it,  and  a  quotation  from  the 
"Divine  Comedy"  is  on  its  fagade.  The  Via  Dante  and 
the  Piazza  Donati  are  close  by,  and  in  the  Via  Dante  are 



many  reminders  of  the  poet  besides  his  alleged  birthplace. 
Elsewhere  in  the  city  we  find  incised  quotations  from  his 
poem;  but  the  Baptisteiy — his  "beautiful  San  Giovanni" 
— is  the  only  building  in  the  city  proper  now  remaining 
which  Dante  would  feel  at  home  in  could  he  return  to  it, 
and  where  we  can  feel  assured  of  sharing  his  presence. 
The  same  pavement  is  there  on  which  his  feet  once  stood, 
and  on  the  same  mosaic  of  Christ  above  the  altar  would  his 
eyes  have  fallen.  When  Dante  was  exiled  in  1302  the 
cathedral  had  been  in  progress  only  for  six  or  eight  years ; 
but  it  is  known  that  he  took  the  deepest  interest  in  its 
construction,  and  we  have  seen  the  stone  marking  the  place 
where  he  sat,  watching  the  builders.  The  fagade  of  the 
Badia  of  Fiesole  and  the  church  of  S.  Miniato  can  also 
remember  Dante ;  no  others. 

Here,  however,  we  ai'e  on  that  gi-ound  which  is  richest 
in  personal  associations  with  him  and  his,  for  in  spite  of  re- 
building and  certain  modem  changes  the  air  is  heavy  with 
antiquity  in  these  narrow  streets  and  passages  where  the 
poet  had  his  childhood  and  youth.  The  son  of  a  lawyer 
named  Alighieri,  Dante  was  bom  in  1265,  but  whether  or 
not  in  this  Casa  Dante  is  an  open  question,  and  it  was  in 
the  Baptistery  that  he  received  the  name  of  Durante,  after- 
wards abbreviated  to  Dante — Durante  meaning  enduring, 
and  Dante  giving.  Those  who  have  read  the  "  Vita  Nuova," 
either  in  the  original  or  in  Rossetti's  translation,  may  be 
surprised  to  learn  that  the  boy  was  only  nine  when  he  fii'st 
met  his  Beatrice,  who  was  seven,  and  for  ever  passed  into 
bondage  to  her.  Who  Beatrice  was  is  again  a  mystery, 
but  it  has  been  agreed  to  consider  her  in  real  liffe  a  daughter 
of  Folco  Portinari,  a  wealthy  Florentine  and  the  founder 
of  the  hospital  of  S.  Maria  Nuova,  one  of  whose  descend- 
ants commissioned  Hugo  van  der  Goes  to  paint  the  great 


triptych  in  the  Uffizi.  Folco's  tomb  is  in  S.  Egidio, 
the  hospital  church,  while  in  the  passage  to  the  cloisters  is 
a  stone  figure  of  Monna  Tessa  (of  whom  we  are  about  to  see 
a  coloured  bust  in  the  Bargello),  who  was  not  only  Beatrice's 
nurse  (if  Beatrice  were  truly  of  the  Portinari)  but  the  in- 
stigator, it  is  said,  of  Folco's  deed  of  charity. 

Of  Dante's  rapt  adoration  of  his  lady,  the  "  Vita  Nuova  " 
tells.  According  to  that  strangest  monument  of  devotion 
it  was  not  until  another  nine  years  had  passed  that  he  had 
speech  of  her;  and  then  Beatrice,  meeting  him  in  the 
street,  saluted  him  as  she  passed  him  with  such  ineffable 
courtesy  and  grace  that  he  was  lifted  into  a  seventh  heaven 
of  devotion  and  set  upon  the  writing  of  his  book.  The 
two  seem  to  have  had  no  closer  intercourse  :  Beatrice  shone 
distantly  like  a  star  and  her  lover  woi-shipped  her  with  in- 
creasing loyalty  and  fervour,  overlaying  the  idea  of  her,  as 
one  might  say,  with  gold  and  radiance,  very  much  as  we 
shall  see  Fra  Angelico  adding  glory  to  the  Madonna  and 
Saints  in  his  pictures,  and  with  a  similar  intensity  of  ecstasy. 
Then  one  day  Beatrice  married,  and  not  long  afterwards, 
being  always  very  fragile,  she  died,  at  the  age  of  twenty- 
three.  The  fact  that  she  was  no  longer  on  earth  hardly 
affected  her  poet,  whose  worship  of  her  had  always  so  little 
of  a  physical  character ;  and  she  continued  to  dominate  his 

In  1293,  however,  Dante  married,  one  Gemma  Donati 
of  the  powerful  Guelph  family  of  that  name,  of  which  Corso 
Donati  was  the  turbulent  head ;  and  by  her  he  had  many 
children.  For  Gemma,  however,  he  seems  to  have  had  no 
affection ;  and  when  in  1301  he  left  Florence,  never  to  re- 
turn, he  left  his  wife  for  ever  too.  In  1289  Dante  had 
been  present  at  the  battle  of  Campaldino,  fighting  with  the 
Guelphs  against  the  Ghibellines,  and  on  settling  down  in 


Florence  and  taking  to  politics  it  was  as  a  Guelph,  or 
rather  as  one  of  that  branch  of  the  Guelph  party  which 
had  become.  White — the  Bianchi — as  opposed  to  the  othei' 
party  which  was  Black — the  Neri.  The  feuds  between  these 
divisions  took  the  place  of  those  between  the  Guelphs  and 
Ghibellines,  since  Florence  was  never  happy  without  inter- 
nal strife,  and  it  cannot  have  added  to  Dante's  home  comfort 
that  his  wife  was  related  to  Ck)rso  Donati,  who  led  the 
Neri  and  swaggered  in  his  bullying  way  about  the  city  with 
proprietary,  intolerant  airs  that  must  have  been  infuriating 
to  a  man  with  Dante's  stern  sense  of  right  and  justice.  It 
was  Corso  who  brought  about  Dante's  exile  ;  but  he  him- 
self survived  only  six  years,  and  was  then  killed,  by  his  own 
wish,  on  his  way  to  execution,  rather  than  be  humiliated 
in  the  city  in  which  he  had  swayed.  Dante,  whose  genius 
devised  a  more  lasting  form  of  reprisal  than  any  personal 
encounter  could  be,  has  depicted  him  in  the  "  Purgatorio  " 
as  on  the  road  to  Hell. 

But  this  is  going  too  fast.  In  1300,  when  Dante  was 
thirty-five,  he  was  sufficiently  important  to  be  made  one 
of  the  six  priors  of  the  city,  and  in  that  capacity  was  called 
upon  to  quell  a  Neri  and  Bianchi  disturbance.  It  is  char- 
acteristic of  him  that  he  was  a  party  to  the  banishment 
of  the  leaders  of  both  factions,  among  whom  was  his  closest 
friend,  Guido  Cavalcanti  the  poet,  who  was  one  of  the 
Bianchi.  Whether  it  was  because  of  Guido's  illness  in  his 
exile,  or  from  what  motive,  we  shall  not  know ;  but  the 
sentence  was  lightened  in  the  case  of  this  Bianco,  a  circum- 
stance which  did  not  add  to  Dante's  chances  when  the  Neri, 
having  plotted  successfully  with  Charles  of  Valois,  captured 
supreme  power  in  Florence.  This  was  in  the  year  1301, 
Dante  being  absent  from  that  city  on  an  embassy  to  Rome 
to  obtain  help  for  the  Bianchi.     He  never  came  back ;  for 


the  Neri  plans  succeeded ;  the  Neri  assumed  control ;.  and 
in  January,  1302,  he  was  formally  fined  and  banished.  The 
nominal  charge  against  him  was  of  misappropriating  funds 
while  a  prior;  but  that  was  merely  a  matter  of  form. 
His  real  oflFence  was  in  being  one  of  the  Bianchi,  an  enemy 
of  the  Neri,  and  a  man  of  parts. 

In  the  rest  of  Dante's  life  Florence  had  no  part,  except 
in  his  thoughts.  How  he  viewed  her  the  "Divine  Comedy" 
tells  us,  and  that  he  longed  to  return  we  also  know.  The 
chance  was  indeed  once  offered,  but  utider  the  impossible 
condition  that  he  should  do  public  penance  in  the  Bap- 
tistery for  his  offence.  This  he  refused.  He  wandered 
here  and  there,  and  settled  finally  in  Ravenna,  where  he  died 
in  1321.  The  "  Divine  Comedy  "  anticipating  printing  by 
so  many  years — the  invention  did  not  reach  Florence  until 
1471 — Dante  could  not  make  much  popular  way  as  a  poet 
before  that  time ;  but  to  his  genius  certain  Florentines 
were  earlier  no  strangers,  not  only  by  perusing  MS.  copies 
of  his  great  work,  which  by  its  richness  in  Florentine  allu- 
sions excited  an  interest  apart  altogether  from  that  created 
by  its  beauty,  but  by  public  lectures  on  the  poem,  delivered 
in  the  churches  by  order  of  the  Signoria.  The  first  Dante 
professor  to  be  appointed  was  Giovanni  Boccaccio,  the 
author  of  the  "Decameron,"  who  was  bom  in  1313,  eight 
years  before  Dante's  death,  and  became  an  enthusiast  upon 
the  poet.  The  picture  in  the  Duomo  was  placed  there  in 
1465.  Then  came  printing  to  Florence  and  Dante  passed 
quickly  into  his  countrymen's  thoughts  and  language. 

Michelangelo,  who  was  born  in  time — 1475 — to  enjoy  in 
Lorenzo  the  Magnificent's  house  the  new  and  precious  ad- 
vanitage  of  printed  books,  became  as  a  boy  a  profound  stu- 
dent of  the  poet,  and  when  later  an  appeal  was  made  from 
Florence  to  the  Pope  to  sanction  the  removal  of  Dante's 



(A  bnnzf  riflica  it  in  llir  anir/nal  nick,-  ivilli  Donalilh's 
ori-^'inal  ytUrfl'tnralh  ,1.  in  tin  loall  of  Or  San  jUichtIc) 


bones  to  Florence,  Michelangelo  was  among  the  signatories. 
But  it  was  not  done.  His  death-mask  from  Ravenna  is  in 
the  Bargello :  a  few  of  his  bones  and  their  co£Sn  are  still 
in  Ravenna,  in  the  monastery  of  Classe,  piously  preserved 
in  a  room  filled  with  Dante  relics  and  literature ;  his 
tomb  is  elsewhere  at  Ravenna,  a  shrine  visited  by  thou- 
sands every  year. 

Ever  since  has  Dante's  fame  been  growing,  so  that  only 
the  Bible  has  led  to  more  literature  ;  and  to-day  Florence 
is  more  proud  of  him  than  any  of  her  sons,  except  perhaps 
Michelangelo.  We  have  seen  one  or  two  reminders  of  him 
already  j  more  are  here  where  we  stand.  We  have  seen 
the  picture  in  honour  of  him  which  the  Republic  set  up  in 
the  cathedral ;  his  head  on  a  beautiful  inlaid  door  in  the 
Palazzo  Vecchio,  the  building  where  his  sentence  of  banish- 
ment was  devised  and  carried,  to  be  followed  by  death 
sentence  thrice  repeated  (burning  alive,  to  be  exact) ;  and 
we  have  seen  the  head-quarters  of  the  Florentine  Dante 
society  in  the  guild  house  at  Or  San  Michele.  We  have  still 
to  see  his  statue  opposite  S.  Croce,  another  fresco  head  in  S. 
Mai-ia  Novella,  certain  holograph  relics  at  the  library  at 
S.  Lorenzo,  and  his  head  again  by  his  friend  Giotto,  in  the 
Bargello,  where  he  would  have  been  confined  while  waiting 
for  death  had  he  been  captured. 

Dante's  house  has  been  rebuilt,  very  recently,  and  next 
it  is  a  newer  building  still,  with  a  long  inscription  in 
Italian  upon  it,  to  the  effect  that  the  residence  of  Bella 
and  Bellindone  Alighieri  stood  hereabouts,  and  in  that 
abode  was  Dante  bom.  The  Commune  of  Florence,  it 
goes  on  to  say,  having  secured  possession  of  the  site, 
"  built  this  edifice  on  the  remains  of  the  ancestral  house  as 
fresh  evidence  of  the  public  veneration  of  the  divine  poet ". 
The  Torre  della  Castagna,  across  the  way,  has  an  inscrip^ 



tion  in  Italian,  which  may  be  translated  thus :  "This 
Tower,  the  so-called  Tower  of  the  Chestnut,  is  the  solitary 
remnant  of  the  head-quarters  from  which  the  Priors  of 
the  Arts  governed  Florence,  before  the  power  and  glory 
of  the  Florentine  Commune  procured  the  erection  of  the 
Palace  of  the  Signoria  ". 

Few  persons  in  the  real  city  of  Florence,  it  may  be  said 
confidently,  live  in  a  house  built  for  them  ;  but  hereabouts 
none  at  all.  In  fact,  it  is  the  exception  anywhere  near  the 
centre  of  the  city  to  live  in  a  house  built  less  than  three 
centuries  ago.  Palaces  abound,  cut  up  into  offices,  flats, 
rooms,  and  even  cinema  theatres.  The  telegraph  office  in 
the  Via  del  Proconsolo  is  a  palace  commissioned  by  the 
Strozzi  but  never  completed  :  hence  its  name,  Nonfinito  ; 
next  it  is  the  superb  Palazzo  Quaratesi,  which  Brunelleschi 
designed,  now  the  head-quarters  of  a  score  of  firms  and  an 
Ecclesiastical  School  whence  sounds  of  sacred  song  continu- 
ally emerge. 

Since  we  have  Mino  da  Fiesole  in  our  minds  and  are  on 
the  subj  ect  of  old  palaces  let  us  walk  from  the  Dante  quarter 
in  a  straight  line  from  the  Corso,  that  very  busy  street  of 
small  shops,  across  the  Via  del  Proconsolo  and  down  the 
Borgo  degli  Albizzi  to  S.  Ambrogio,  where  Mino  was  buried. 
This  Borgo  is  a  street  of  palaces  and  an  excellent  one  in 
which  to  reflect  upon  the  strange  habit  which  wealthy 
Florentines  then  indulged  of  setting  their  mansions  withift 
a  few  feet  of  those  opposite.  Houses — or  rathei  fortresses — 
that  must  have  cost  fortunes  and  have  been  occupied  by 
families  of  wealth  and  splendour  were  erected  so  close  to 
their  via-a-via  that  two  carts  could  not  pass  abreast  between 
them.  Side  by  side  contiguity  one  can  understand,  but 
not  this  other  adjacence.  Every  ground  floor  window  is 
baned  like  a  gaol.     Those  bars  tell  us  something  of  the 


pei'ils  of  life  in  Florence  in  the  great  days  of  faction  am- 
bition; while  the  thickness  of  the  walls  and  solidity  of 
construction  tell  us  something  too  of  the  integrity  of  the 
Florentine  builders.  These  ancient  palaces,  one  feels, 
whatever  may  happen  to  them,  can  never  fall  to  ruin. 
Such  stones  as  are  placed  one  upon  the  other  in  the  Pitti 
and  the  Strozzi  and  the  Riccardi  nothing  can  displace.  It 
is  an  odd  thought  that  several  Florentine  palaces  and  villas 
built  before  Columbus  sailed  for  America  are  now  occupied 
by  rich  Americans,  some  of  them  draw  possibly  much 
of  their  income  from  the  manufacture  of  steel  girders  for 
sky-scrapers.  These  ancient  streets  with  their  stern  and 
sombre  palaces  specially  touched  the  imagination  of  Dickens 
when  he  was  in  Florence  in  1844,  but  in  his  "  Pictures 
from  Italy  "  he  gave  the  city  only  fugitive  mention.  The 
old  prison,  which  then  adjoined  the  Palazzo  Vecchio, 
and  in  which  the  prisoners  could  be  seen,  also  moved  him. 

The  Borgo  degli  Albizzi,  as  I  have  said,  is  crowded  with 
Palazzi.  No.  24 — and  there  is  something  very  incongruous 
in  palaces  having  numbers  at  all — is  memorable  in  histoiy 
as  being  one  of  the  homes  of  the  Pazzi  family  who  organ- 
ized the  conspiracy  against  the  Medici  in  1478,  as  I  have 
related  in  the  second  chapter,  and  failed  so  completely. 
Donatello  designed  the  coat  of  arms  here.  The  palace 
at  No.  18  belonged  to  the  Altoviti.  No.  12  is  the  Palazzo 
Albizzi,  the  residence  of  one  of  the  most  powerful  of  the 
Florentine  families,  whose  allies  were  all  about  them  in  this 
quarter,  as  it  was  wise  to  be. 

As  a  change  from  picture  galleries,  I  can  think  of  nothing 
more  delightful  than  to  wander  about  these  ancient  streets, 
and,  wherever  a  courtyard  or  garden  shines,  penetrate  to 
it ;  stopping  now  and  again  to  enjoy  the  vista,  the  red 
Duomo,  or  Giotto's  tower,  so  often  mounting  into  the  sky 


at  one  end,  or  an  indigo  Apennine  at  the  other.  Standing 
in  the  middle  of  the  Via  Ricasoli,  for  example,  one  has 
sight  of  both. 

At  the  Piazza  S.  Pietro  we  see  one  of  the  old  towers  of 
Florence,  of  which  there  were  once  so  many,  into  which  the 
women  and  children  might  retreat  in  times  of  great  danger, 
and  here  too  is  a  series  of  arches  which  fruit  and  vegetable 
shops  make  gay. 

The  next  Piazza  is  that  of  S.  Ambrogio.  This  church 
is  interesting  not  only  for  doing  its  work  in  a  poor  quarter 
— one  has  the  feeling  at  once  that  it  is  a  right  church 
in  the  right  place — but  as  containing,  as  I  have  said,  the 
grave  of  Mino  da  Fiesole :  Mino  de'  Poppi  detto  da  Fiesole, 
as  the  floor  tablet  has  it.  Over  the  altar  of  Mino's  little 
chapel  is  a  large  tabernacle  from  his  hand,  in  which  the 
gayest  little  Boy  gives  the  benediction,  own  brother  to  that 
one  by  Desiderio  at  S.  Lorenzo.  The  tabernacle  must  be 
one  of  the  master's  finest  works,  and  beneath  it  is  a  relief  in 
which  a  priest  pours  something — perhaps  the  very  blood 
of  Christ  which  is  kept  here — from  one  chalice  to  another 
held  by  a  kneeling  woman,  surrounded  by  other  kneeling 
women,  which  is  a  marvel  of  flowing  beauty  and  life.  The 
lines  of  it  are  peculiarly  lovely. 

On  the  wall  of  the  same  little  chapel  is  a  fresco  by 
Cosimo  Rosselli  which  must  once  have  been  a  delight,  re- 
presenting a  procession  of  Corpus  Christi — this  chapel  being 
dedicated  to  the  miracle  of  the  Sacrament — and  it  contains, 
according  to  Vasari,  a  speaking  likeness  of  Pico  della 
Mirandola.  Other  graves  in  the  church  are  those  of 
Cronaca,  the  architect  of  the  Palazzo  Vecchio's  great 
Council  Room,  a  friend  of  Savonarola  and  Rosselli's  nephew 
by  maiTiage ;  and  Verrocchio,  the  sculptor,  whose  beauti- 
ful work  we  are  now  to  see  in  the  Bargello.     It  is  said  that 


THE    BATjIA    and    THE    BAEGELLIJ    FROM     HIE    PIAZZA    S.    FIRENZE 


Lorenzo  di  Credi  also  lies  here,  and  Albertinelli,  who  gave 
up  the  brush  for  innkeeping. 

Opposite  the  church,  on  a  house  at  the  corner  of  the 
Borgo  S.  Croce  and  the  Via  de'  Macci,  is  a  della  Robbia 
saint — one  of  many  such  mural  works  of  art  in  Florence. 
Thus,  at  the  corner  of  the  Via  Cavour  and  the  Via  de' 
Pucci,  opposite  the  Riccardi  palace,  is  a  beautiful  Madonna 
and  Child  by  Donatello.  In  the  Via  Zannetti,  which  leads 
out  of  the  Via  Cerretani,  is  a  very  pretty  example  by  Mino, 
a  few  houses  on  the  right  These  are  sculpture.  And 
everywhere  in  the  older  streets  you  may  see  shrines  built 
into  the  wall :  there  is  even  one  in  the  prison,  in  the  Via 
dell'  Agnolo,  once  the  convent  of  the  Murate,  where  Cath- 
erine de'  Medici  was  imprisoned  as  a  girl ;  but  many  of 
them  are  covered  with  glass  which  has  been  allowed  to 
become  black. 

A  word  or  two  on  S.  Egidio,  the  church  of  the  great 
hospital  of  S.  Maria  Nuova,  might  round  off  this  chapter, 
since  it  was  Folco  Portinari,  Beatrice's  father,  who  founded 
it.  The  hospital  stands  in  a  rather  forlorn  square  a  few 
steps  from  the  Duomo,  down  the  Via  dell'  Orivolo  and 
then  the  first  to  the  left ;  and  it  extends  right  through  to 
the  Via  degli  Alfani  in  cloisters  and  ramifications.  The 
fagade  is  in  a  state  of  decay,  old  frescoes  peeling  off  it,  but 
one  picture  has  been  enclosed  for  protection — a  gay  and 
busy  scene  of  the  consecration  of  the  church  by  Pope 
Martin  V.  Within,  it  is  a  church  of  the  poor,  notable  for 
its  general  florid  comfort  (comparatively)  and  Folco's  gothic 
tomb.  In  the  chancel  is  a  pretty  little  tabernacle  by  Mino, 
which  used  to  have  a  bronze  door  by  Ghiberti,  but  has  it 
no  longer,  and  a  very  fine  della  Robbia  Madonna  and 
Child,  probably  by  Andrea.  Behind  a  grille,  upstairs,  sit 
the  hospital  nurses.     In  the  adjoining  cloisters — one  of  the 


high  roads  to  the  hospital  proper — is  the  ancient  statue 
of  old  Monna  Tessa,  Beatrice's  nurse,  and,  in  a  niche, 
a  pretty  symbolical  painting  of  Charity  by  that  curious 
painter  Giovanni  di  San  Giovanni.  It  was  in  the  hospital 
that  the  famous  Van  der  Goes  triptych  used  to  hang. 

A  tablet  on  a  house  opposite  S.  Egidio,  a  little  to  the 
right,  states  that  it  was  there  that  Ghiberti  made  the 
Baptistery  gates  which  Michelangelo  considered  fit  to  be 
the  portals  of  Paradise. 



Plastic  art — Blood-soaked  stones — The  faithful  artists — Michelangelo 
— Italian  custodians  —  The  famous  Davids  —  Michelangelo's  tondo — 
Brutus — Benedetto  da  Rovezzano — Donatello's  life-work  —  The  S. 
George — ^Verrocchio — Ghiberti  and  Brunelleschi  and  the  Baptistery  doors 
— Benvenuto  Cellini — John  of  Bologna — Antonio  PoUaiuolo — Verrocchio 
again — Mino  da  Fiesole — The  Florentine  wealth  of  sculpture — Beautiful 
ladies — The  della  Robbias — South  Kensington  and  the  Louvre. 

BEFORE  my  last  visit  but  one  to  Florence,  plastic  art 
was  less  attractive  to  me  than  pictorial  art.  But  now 
I  am  not  sure.  At  any  rate  when,  here  in  England,  I  think 
of  Florence,  as  so  often  I  do,  I  find  myself  visiting  in 
imagination  the  Bargello  before  the  Uffizi.  Pictures  in 
any  number  can  bewilder  and  dazzle  as  much  as  they  de- 
light. The  eye  tires.  And  so,  it  is  true,  can  a  multipli- 
city of  antique  statuary  such  as  one  finds  at  the  Vatican 
or  at  the  Louvre ;  but  a  small  collection  of  Renaissance 
work,  so  soft  and  human,  as  at  the  Bargello,  is  not  only 
joy-giving  but  refreshing  too.  The  soft  contours  soothe 
as  well  as  enrapture  the  eye  :  the  tenderness  of  the 
Madonnas,  the  gentleness  of  the  Florentine  ladies  and 
youths,  as  Verrocchio  and  Mino  da  Fiesole,  Donatello,  and 
Pollaiuolo  moulded  them,  calm  one  where  the  perfection 
of  Phidias  and  Praxiteles  excites.  Hence  the  very  special 
charm  of  the  Bargello,  whose  plastic  treasures  are  compara- 



tively  few  and  picked,  as  against  the  heaped  profusion  of 
paint  in  the  Uffizi  and  the  Pitti.  It  pairs  off  rather  with 
the  Accademia,  and  has  this  further  point  in  common  with 
that  choicest  of  galleries,  that  Michelangelo's  chisel  is  re- 
presented in  both. 

The  Bargello  is  at  the  corner  of  the  Via  Ghibellina  in 
the  narrow  Via  del  Proconsolo — so  narrow  that  if  you  take 
one  step  off  the  pavement  a  tram  may  easily  sweep  you 
into  eternity ;  so  narrow  also  that  the  real  dignity  of  the 
Bargello  is  never  to  be  properly  seen,  and  one  thinks 
of  it  rather  for  its  inner  court  and  staircase  and  its  strong 
tower  than  for  its  massive  facades.  Its  history  is  soaked 
in  blood.  It  was  built  in  the  middle  of  the  thirteenth 
century  as  the  residence  of  the  chief  magistrate  of  the  city, 
the  Capitano  del  popolo,  or  Podesta,  first  appointed  soon 
after  the  return  of  the  Guelphs  in  1251,  and  it  so  remained, 
with  such  natural  Florentine  vicissitudes  as  destruction  by 
mobs  and  fii-e,  for  four  hundred  years,  when,  in  1574,  it 
was  converted  into  a  prison  and  place  of  execution  and  the 
head-quarters  of  the  police,  and  changed  its  name  from  the 
Palazzo  del  Podesta  to  that  by  which  it  is  now  known,  so 
called  after  the  Bargello,  or  chief  of  the  police. 

It  is  indeed  fortunate  that  no  rioters  succeeded  in  ob- 
literating Giotto's  fresco  in  the  Bargello  chapel,  which  he 
painted  probably  in  1300,  when  his  friend  Dante  was  a 
Prior  of  the  city.  Giotto  introduced  the  portrait  of  Dante 
which  has  drawn  so  many  people  to  this  little  room,  together 
with  portraits  of  Corso  Donati,  and  Brunetto  Latinij 
Dante's  tutor.  Whitewash  covered  it  for  two  centuries. 
Dante's  head  has  been  restored. 

It  was  in  1857  that  the  Bargello  was  again  converted, 
this  time  to  its  present  gracious  office  of  preserving  the 
very  flower  of  Renaissance  plastic  art. 


Passing  through  the  entrance  hall,  which  has  a  remarkable 
collection  of  Medicean  armour  and  weapons,  and  in  which 
(I  have  read  but  not  seen)  is  an  oubliette  under  one  of  the 
great  pillars,  the  famous  court  is  gained  and  the  famous 
staircase.  Of  this  court  what  can  I  say  ?  Its  quality  is 
not  to  be  communicated  in  words  ;  and  even  the  photo- 
graphs of  it  that  are  sold  have  to  be  made  from  pictures, 
which  the  assiduous  Signor  Giuliani,  among  others,  is  al- 
ways so  faithfully  painting,  stone  for  stone.  One  forgets 
all  the  hori'ors  that  once  were  enacted  here — the  execution 
of  honourable  Florentine  patriots  whose  only  offence  was 
that  in  their  sei"vice  of  this  proud  and  beautiful  city  they 
differed  from  those  in  power ;  one  thinks  only  of  the  soft 
light  on  the  immemorial  walls,  the  sturdy  graceful  columns, 
the  cai'ved  escutcheons,  the  resolute  steps,  the  spaciousness 
and  stem  calm  of  it  all. 

In  the  colonnade  are  a  number  of  statues,  the  most  famous 
of  which  is  perhaps  the  "  Dying  Adonis  "  which  Baedeker 
gives  to  Michelangelo  but  the  curator  to  Vincenzo  di  Rossi ; 
an  ascription  that  would  annoy  Michelangelo  exceedingly, 
if  it  were  a  mistake,  since  Rossi  was  a  pupU  of  his  enemy, 
the  absurd  Bandinelli.  Mr.  W.  G.  Watei-s,  in  Ids 
"  Italian  Sculptors,"  considers  not  only  that  Michelangelo 
was  the  sculptor,  hut  that  the  work  was  intended  to  form 
part  of  the  tomb  of  Pope  Julius.  In  the  second  room 
opposite  the  main  entrance  across  the  coui-tyard,  we  come 
however  to  Michelangelo  authentic  and  supreme,  for  here 
are  his  small  David,  his  Brutus,  his  Bacchus,  and  a  tondo 
of  the  Madonna  and  Child. 

According  to  Baedeker  the  Bacchus  and  the  David 
revolve.  Certainly  they  are  on  revolving  stands,  but  to  say 
that  they  revolve  is  to  disregard  utterly  the  character  of 
the  Italian  official.    A  catch  holds  each  in  its  place,  and 


any  effort  to  release  this  or  to  induce  the  custodian  to  re- 
lease it  is  equally  futile.  "  Chiuso  "  (closed),  he  replies,  and 
that  is  final.  Useless  to  explain  that  the  backs  of  statues 
can  be  beautiful  as  the  front ;  that  one  of  the  triumphs  of 
great  statuary  is  its  equal  perfection  from  every  point ; 
that  the  revolving  stand  was  not  made  for  a  joke  but  for 
a  serious  purpose.  "Chiuso,"  he  replies.  The  museum 
custodians  of  Italy  are  either  like  this — ^jaded  figures  of 
apathy — or  they  are  enthusiasts.  To  each  enthusiast 
there  are  ninety-nine  of  the  other,  who  either  sit  in  a  kind 
of  stupor  and  watch  you  with  sullen  suspicion,  or  clear  their 
throats  as  no  gentleman  should.  The  result  is  that  when 
one  meets  the  enthusiasts  one  remembers  them.  There  is 
a  little  dark  fellow  in  the  Brera  at  Milan  whose  zeal  in  dis- 
playing the  merits  of  Mantegna's  foreshortened  Christ  is 
as  unforgettable  as  a  striking  piece  of  character-acting  in  a 
theatre.  There  is  a  more  reserved  but  hardly  less  appre- 
ciative official  in  the  Accademia  at  Bologna  with  a  genuine 
if  incommunicable  passion  for  Guido  Reni.  And,  lastly, 
there  is  Alfred  Branconi,  at  S.  Croce,  with  his  continual 
and  rapturous  "It  is  faine !  It  is  faine ! "  but  he  is  a 
private  guide.  The  Bargello  custodians  belong  to  the  other 

The  fondness  of  sculptors  for  David  as  a  subject  is  due 
to  the  fact  that  the  Florentines,  who  had  spent  so  much  of 
their  time  under  tyrants  and  so  much  of  their  blood  in  re- 
sisting them,  were  captivated  by  the  idea  of  this  stripling 
freeing  his  compatriots  from  Goliath  and  the  Philistines. 
David,  as  I  have  said  in  my  remarks  on  the  Piazza  della 
Signoria,  stood  to  them,  with  Judith,  as  a  champion  of 
liberty.  He  was  alluring  also  on  account  of  his  youth, 
so  attractive  to  Renaissance  sculptors  and  poets,  and  the 
Florentines'  admiration  was  not  diminished  by  the  circum- 

^rAI^o^^■A  an'd  ciiii-i' 

'.M    THE    K[il,n-;|-     \:\     \  i:  N 1^' jLLH  lO    IN    'I  111-.    n,M';(.EI.I.(' 


stance  that  his  task  was  a  singularly  light  one,  since  he 
never  came  to  close  quarters  with  his  antagonist  at  all  and 
had  the  Lord  of  Hosts  on  his  side.  A  David  of  mythology, 
Perseus,  another  Florentine  hero,  a  stripling  with  what 
looked  like  a  formidable  enemy,  also  enjoyed  supernatural 

David  appealed  to  the  greatest  sculptors  of  all — to 
Michelangelo,  to  Donatello,  and  to  Verrocchio;  and 
Michelangelo  made  two  figures,  one  of  which  is  here  and 
the  other  at  the  Accademia,  and  Donatello  two  figures, 
both  of  which  are  here,  so  that,  Verrocchio's  example  being 
also  here,  very  interesting  comparisons  are  possible. 

Personally  I  put  Michelangelo's  small  David  first ;  it  is 
the  one  in  which,  apart  from  its  beauty,  you  can  best  be- 
Heve.  His  colossal  David  seems  to  me  one  of  the  most 
glorious  things  in  the  world  ;  but  it  is  not  David  ;  not  the 
simple,  ruddy  shepherd  lad  of  the  Bible.  This  David  could 
obviously  defeat  anybody.  Donatello's  more  famous 
David,  in  the  hat,  upstairs,  is  the  most  charming  creature 
you  ever  saw,  but  it  had  been  far  better  to  call  him  some- 
thing else.  Both  he  and  Verrocchio's  David,  also  up- 
stairs, are  young  tournament  nobles  rather  than  shepherd 
lads  who  have  slung  a  stone  at  a  Philistine  bully.  I  see 
them  both — but  particularly  perhaps  Verrocchio's — in  the 
intervals  of  strife  most  acceptably  holding  up  a  lady's 
train,  or  lying  at  her  feet  reading  one  of  Boccaccio's  stories ; 
neither  could  ever  have  watched  a  flock.  Donatello's  second 
David,  behind  the  more  famous  one,  has  more  reaUty ; 
but  I  would  put  Michelangelo's  smaller  one  first.  And 
what  beautiful  marble  it  is — so  rich  and  warm  ! 

One  point  which  both  Donatello's  and  Verrocchio's 
David  emphasizes  is  the  gulf  that  was  fixed  between  the 
Biblical  and  religious  conception  of  the  youthful  psalmist 


and  that  of  these  sculptors  of  the  Renaissance.  One  can, 
indeed,  never  think  of  Donatello  as  a  religious  artist. 
Serious,  yes ;  but  not  religious,  or  at  any  rate  not  religious 
in  the  too  common  sense  of  the  word,  in  the  sense  of  ap- 
pei-taining  to  a  special  reverential  mood  distinguished  from 
ordinary  moods  of  dailiness.  His  David,  as  I  have  said,  is 
a  comely,  cultured  boy,  who  belongs  to  the  very  flower  of 
chivalry  and  romance.  Verrocchio's  is  akin  to  him,  but  he 
has  less  radiant  mastery.  Donatello 's  David  might  be  the 
young  lord ;  Verrocchio's,  his  page.  Here  we  see  the  new 
spirit,  the  Renaissance,  at  work,  for  though  religion  called 
it  into  being  and  the  Church  continued  to  be  its  patron,  it 
rapidly  divided  into  two  halves,  and  while  the  painters 
were  bringing  all  their  genius  to  glorify  sacred  history,  the 
scholars  were  endeavouring  to  humanize  it.  In  this  task 
they  had  no  such  allies  as  the  sculptors,  and  particularly 
Donatello,  who,  always  thinking  independently  and  vigor- 
ously, was  their  best  friend.  Donatello's  David  fought 
also  more  powerfully  for  the  modern  spirit  (had  he  known 
it)  than  ever  he  could  have  done  in  real  life  with  such  a 
large  sword  in  such  delicate  hands  ;  for  by  being  the  first 
nude  statue  of  a  Biblical  character,  he  made  simpler  the  way 
to  all  humanists  in  whatever  medium  they  worked. 

Michelangelo  was  not  often  tender.  Profoundly  sad  he 
could  be  :  indeed  his  own  head,  in  bronze,  at  the  Acca- 
demia,  might  stand  for  melancholy  and  bitter  world - 
knowledge ;  but  seldom  tendei" ;  yet  the  Madonna  and 
Child  in  the  circular  bas-relief  in  this  gi-ound-floor  room 
have  something  very  nigh  tenderness,  and  a  gi-eatness  that 
none  of  the  other  Italian  sculptors,  however  often  they 
attempted  this  subject,  ever  reached.  The  head  of  Mary 
in  this  relief  is,  I  think,  one  of  the  most  beautiful  things 
in  Florence,  none  the  less  so  for  the  charming  head-di-ess 


which  the  great  austere  artist  has  given  her.  The  Child  is 
older  than  is  usual  in  such  groups,  and  differs  in  another 
way,  for  tiring  of  a  reading  lesson.  He  has  laid  His  arm 
upon  the  book :  a  pretty  touch. 

Michelangelo's  Bacchus,  an  eai'ly  work,  is  opposite. 
It  is  a  remarkable  proof  of  his  extraordinary  range  that 
the  same  little  room  should  contain  the  David,  the 
Madonna,  the  Brutus,  and  the  Bacchus.  In  David  one 
can  believe,  as  I  have  said,  as  the  young  serious  stalwart 
of  the  Book  of  Kings.  The  Madonna,  although  perhaps 
a  shade  too  intellectual — or  at  any  rate  more  intellectual 
and  commanding  than  the  other  great  artists  have  ac- 
customed us  to  think  of  her — has  a  sweet  gravity  and 
power  and  almost  domestic  tenderness.  The  Brutus  is 
powerful  and  modem  and  realistic ;  whUe  Bacchus  is  steeped 
in  the  Greek  spirit,  and  the  little  faun  hiding  behind  him 
is  the  very  essence  of  mischief  Add  to  these  the  fluid 
vigour  of  the  unfinished  relief  of  the  Martyrdom  of  S. 
Andrew,  No.  126,  and  you  have  five  examples  of  human 
accomplishment  that  would  be  enough  without  the  other 
Florentine  evidences  at  all — the  Medici  chapel  tombs  and 
the  Duomo  Piet^. 

The  inscription  under  the  Brutus  says ;  "  While  the 
sculptor  was  cai'ving  the  statue  of  Brutus  in  marble,  he 
thought  of  the  crime  and  held  his  hand  " ;  and  the  theory 
is  that  Michelangelo  was  at  work  upon  this  head  at  Rome 
when,  in  1537,  Lorenzino  de'  Medici,  who  claimed  to  be  a 
modem  Brutus,  murdered  Alessandro  de'  Medici.  But  it 
might  easily  have  been  that  the  sculptor  was  concemed 
only  with  Brutus  the  friend  of  Caesar  and  revolted  at  his 
crime.  The  circumstance  that  the  head  is  unfinished 
matters  nothing.     Once  seen  it  can  never  be  forgottea 

Although  Michelangelo  is,  as  always,   the  dominator, 


this  room  has  other  possessions  to  make  it  a  resort  of 
visitors.  At  the  end  is  a  fireplace  from  the  Casa  Borg- 
herini,  by  Benedetto  da  Rovezzano,  which  probably  has  not 
an  equal,  although  the  pietra  serena  of  which  it  is  made  is 
a  horrid  hue ;  and  on  the  walls  are  fragments  of  the  tomb 
of  S.  Giovanni  Gualberto  at  Vallombrosa,  designed  by 
the  same  artist  but  never  finished.  Benedetto  (1474- 
1556)  has  a  peculiar  interest  to  the  English  in  having 
come  to  England  in  1524  at  the  bidding  of  Cardinal 
Wolsey  to  design  a  tomb  for  that  proud  prelate.  On 
Wolsey's  disgrace,  Henry  VIH  decided  that  the  tomb 
should  be  continued  for  his  own  bones ;  but  the  sculptor 
died  first  and  it  was  unfinished.  Later  Charles  I  cast 
envious  eyes  upon  it  and  wished  to  lie  within  it ;  but  cir- 
cumstances deprived  him  too  of  the  honour.  Finally, 
after  having  been  despoiled  of  certain  bronze  additions, 
the  sarcophagus  was  used  for  the  remains  of  Nelson,  which 
it  now  holds,  in  St.  Paul's  crypt.  The  Borgherini  fireplace 
is  a  miracle  of  exquisite  work,  everything  having  received 
thought,  the  delicate  traceries  on  the  pillars  not  less  than 
the  frieze.  The  fireplace  is  in  perfect  condition,  not  one 
head  having  been  knocked  off,  but  the  Gualberto  reliefs 
are  badly  damaged,  yet  full  of  life.  The  angel  under  the 
saint's  bier  in  No.  104  almost  moves. 

In  this  room  look  also  at  the  beautiful  blades  of  barley 
on  the  pillars  in  the  comer  close  to  Brutus,  and  the 
lovely  frieze  by  an  unknown  hand  above  Michelangelo's 
Martyrdom  of  S.  Andrew,  and  the  carving  upon  the  two 
niches  for  statues  on  either  side  of  the  door. 

The  little  room  through  which  one  passes  to  the  Michel- 
angelos  may  well  be  lingered  in.  There  is  a  gravely 
fine  floor-tomb  of  a  nun  to  the  left  of  the  dooi^ — No. 
20 — ^which  one  would  like  to  see  in  its  proper  position  in- 


stead  of  upright  against  the  wall ;  and  a  stone  font  in  the 
middle  which  is  very  fine.  There  is  also  a  beautiful  tomb 
by  Giusti  da  Settignano,  and  the  iron  gates  are  worth 

From  Michelangelo  let  us  ascend  the  stairs,  past  the 
splendid  gates,  to  Donatello ;  and  here  a  word  about  that 
sculptor,  for  though  we  meet  him  again  and  again  in  Flor- 
ence (yet  never  often  enough)  it  is  in  the  upper  room 
in  the  Bargello  that  he  is  enthroned.     Of  Donatello  there  is 
nothing  known  but  good,  and  good  of  the  most  captivating 
variety.     Not  only  was  he  a  great  creative  genius,  equally 
the  first  modern  sculptor  and  the  sanest,  but  he  was  him- 
self tall  and  comely,  open-handed,  a  warm  friend,  humorous 
and  of  vigorous  intellect.     A  hint  of  the  affection  in  which 
he  was  held  is  obtained  from  his  name  Donatello,  which  is 
a  pet  diminutive  of  Donato — his  full  style  being  Donato  di 
Niccolo  di  Betto  Bardi.     Born  in  1886,  four  years  before 
Fra  Angelico  and  nearly  a  century  after  Giotto,  he  was  the 
son  of  a  well-to-do  wool-comber  who  was  no  stranger  to  the 
perils  of  political  energy  in  these  times.     Of  Donatello's 
youth  little  is  known,  but  it  is  almost  cei-tain  that  he  helped 
Ghiberti  with  his  first  Baptistery  doors,  being  thirteen 
when  that  sculptor  began  upon  them.     At  sixteen  he  was 
himself  enrolled  as  a  sculptor.     It  was  soon  after  this  that, 
as  I  have  said  in  the  first  chapter,  he  accompanied  his  friend 
Brunelleschi,  who  was  thirteen  yeai-s  his  senior,  to  Rome ;  and 
returning  alone  he  began  work  in  Florence  in  earnest,  both 
for  the  cathedral  and  campanile  and  for  Or  San  Michele. 
In  1425  he  took  into  partnership  Michelozzo,  and  became, 
with  him,  a  protege  of  Cosimo  de'  Medici,  with  whom  both 
continued  on  friendly  terms  for  the  rest  of  their  lives. 
In  1433  he  was  in  Rome  again,  probably  not  sorry  to  be 
there  since  Cosimo  had  been  banished  and  had  taken  Michel- 


ozzo  with  him.  On  the  triumphant  return  of  Cosimo  in 
1434  Donatello's  most  prosperous  period  began;  for  he 
was  intimate  with  the  most  powerfql  man  in  Florence, 
was  honoured  by  him,  and  was  himself  at  the  useful  age  of 

Of  Donatello  as  an  innovator  I  have  said  something  above, 
in  considering  the  Florentine  Davids,  but  he  was  also  the 
inventor  of  that  low  relief  in  which  his  school  worked, 
called  rilievo  stiacciato,  of  which  there  are  some  excellent 
examples  at  South  Kensington.  In  Ghiberti's  high  relief, 
breaking  out  often  into  completely  detached  figures,  he 
was  also  a  master,  as  we  shall  see  at  S.  Lorenzo.  But  his 
greatest  claim  to  distinction  is  his  psychological  insight 
allied  to  perfect  mastery  of  form.  His  statues  were  not 
only  the  first  really  great  statues  since  the  Greeks,  but  are 
still  (always  leaving  Michelangelo  on  one  side  as  abnormal) 
the  greatest  modem  examples  judged  upon  a  realistic  basis. 
Here  in  the  Bargello,  in  originals  and  in  casts,  he  may  be 
adequately  appreciated ;  but  to  Padua  his  admirers  must 
certainly  go,  for  the  bronze  equestrian  statue  of  Gatta- 
melata  is  there.  Donatello  was  painted  by  his  friend 
Masaccio  at  the  Carmine,  but  the  fresco  has  perished.  He 
is  to  be  seen  in  the  Uffizi  portico,  although  that  is  probably 
a  fancy  representation ;  and  again  on  a  tablet  in  the  wall 
opposite  the  apse  of  the  Duomo.  The  only  contemporary 
portrait  (and  this  is  very  doubtful)  is  in  a  picture  in  the 
Louvre  given  to  Uccello — a  serious,  thoughtful,  bearded  face 
with  steady,  observant  eyes :  one  of  five  heads,  the  othei-s 
being  Giotto,  Manetti,  Brunelleschi,  and  Uccello  himself. 

Donatello,  who  never  married,  but  lived  for  much  of  his 
life  with  his  mother  and  sister,  died  at  a  great  age,  cared 
for  both  by  Cosimo  de'  Medici  and  his  son  and  successor 
Piero.     He  was  buried  with  Cosimo  in  S.  Lorenzo.     Vasari 

F-'RUM      rHE    KEI  [h.r     \\V    t   L'cA    lil':il.,\     U.illlUA    IN    "lllfL 

S.  GEORGE  193 

tells  us  that  he  was  free,  affectionate,  and  courteous,  but  of 
a  high  spirit  and  capable  of  sudden  anger,  as  when  he  de- 
stroyed with  a  blow  a  head  he  had  made  for  a  mean  patron 
who  objected  to  its  very  reasonable  price.  "  He  thought," 
says  Vasari,  "nothing  of  money,  keeping  it  in  a  basket 
suspended  from  the  ceiling,  so  that  all  his  workmen  and 
friends  took  what  they  wanted  without  saying  anything." 
He  was  as  careless  of  dress  as  great  artists  have  ever  been, 
and  of  a  handsome  robe  which  Cosimo  gave  him  he  com- 
plained that  it  spoiled  his  work.  When  he  was  dying  his 
relations  affected  great  concern  in  the  hope  of  inheriting 
a  farm  at  Prato,  but  he  told  them  that  he  had  left  it  to 
the  peasant  who  had  always  toiled  there,  and  he  would  not 
alter  his  will. 

The  Donatello  collection  in  the  Bargello  has  been  made 
representative  by  the  addition  of  casts.  The  originals 
number  ten  :  there  is  also  a  cast  of  the  equestrian  statue 
of  Gattemalata  at  Padua,  which  is,  I  suppose,  next  to  Ver- 
rocchio's  Bartolommeo  Colleoni  at  Venice,  the  finest  eques- 
trian statue  that  exists ;  heads  from  various  collections, 
including  M.  Dreyfus'  in  Paris,  although  Dr.  Bode  now 
gives  that  charming  example  to  Donatello's  pupil  Desiderio ; 
and  various  other  masterpieces  elsewhere.  But  it  is  the 
originals  that  chiefly  interest  us,  and  first  of  these  in  bronze 
is  the  David,  of  which  I  have  already  spoken,  and  first 
of  these  in  marble  the  S.  George.  This  Geoi'ge  is  just 
such  a  resolute,  clean,  warlike  idealist  as  one  dreams  him. 
He  would  kill  a  dragon,  it  is  true ;  but  he  would  eat  and 
sleep  after  it  and  tell  the  story  modestly  and  not  without 
humour.  By  a  happy  chance  the  marble  upon  which  Do- 
natello worked  had  light  veins  running  through  it  just 
where  the  head  is,  with  the  result  that  the  face  seems  to 
possess  a  radiance  of  its  own.  This  statue  was  made  for 


Oi-  San  Michele,  where  it  used  to  stand  until  1891,  when  the 
present  bronze  replica  that  takes  its  place  was  made.  The 
spirited  marble  frieze  underneath  it  at  Or  San  Michele  is  the 
original  and  has  been  there  for  centuries.  It  was  this  S. 
George  whom  Ruskin  took  as  -the  head  and  inspiration  of 
his  Saint  George's  Guild. 

The  David  is  interesting  not  only  in  itself  but  as  being 
the  first  isolated  statue  of  modern  times.  It  was  made  for 
Cosimo  de'  Medici,  to  stand  in  the  courtyard  of  the  Medici 
palace  (now  the  Riccardi),  and  until  that  time,  since  anti- 
quity, no  one  had  made  a  statue  to  stand  on  a  pedestal 
and  be  observable  from  all  points.  Hitherto  modern  sculp- 
tors had  either  made  reliefs  or  statues  for  niches.  It  was 
also  the  first  nude  statue  of  modem  times ;  and  once  again 
one  has  the  satisfaction  of  recognizing  that  the  first  was 
the  best.  At  any  rate,  no  later  sculptor  has  made  anything 
more  charming  than  this  figure,  or  more  masterly  within 
its  limits. 

After  the  S.  George  and  the  bronze  David,  the  two 
most  memorable  things  are  the  adorable  bronze  Amorino 
in  its  quaint  little  trousers — or  perhaps  not  Amorino  at 
all,  since  it  is  trampling  on  a  snake,  which  such  little 
sprites  did  not  do — and  the  coloured  terra-cotta  bust  called 
Niccolo  da  Uzzano,  so  like  life  as  to  be  after  a  while  dis- 
concerting. The  sensitiveness  of  the  mouth  can  never  have 
been  excelled.  The  other  originals  include  the  gaunt  John 
the  Baptist  with  its  curious  little  moustache,  so  far  re- 
moved from  the  Amorino  and  so  admirable  a  proof  of 
the  sculptor's  vigilant  thoughtfulness  in  all  he  did  ;  the  re- 
lief of  the  infant  John,  one  of  the  most  animated  of  the 
heads  (the  Baptist  at  all  periods  of  his  life  being  a  favourite 
with  this  sculptor)  ;  three  bronze  heads,  of  which  those  of 
the  Young  Gentleman  and  the  Roman  Emperor  remain 


most  clearly  in  my  mind.  But  the  authorship  of  the  Roman 
Emperor  is  very  doubtful.  And  lastly  the  glorious  Mar- 
zocco — the  lion  from  the  front  of  the  Palazzo  Vecchio,  firmly 
holding  the  Florentine  escutcheon  against  the  world. 
Florence  has  other  Donatellos — the  Judith  in  the  Loggia 
de'  Lanzi,  the  figures  on  Giotto's  campanile,  the  Annuncia- 
tion in  S.  Croce,  and  above  all  the  cantoria  in  the  Museum 
of  the  Cathedral ;  but  this  room  holds  most  of  his  strong 
sweet  genius.  Here  (for  thei-e  are  seldom  more  than  two 
or  three  persons  in  it)  you  can  be  on  terms  with  him. 

After  the  Donatellos  we  should  see  the  other  Renaissance 
sculpture.  But  first  the  Carrand  collection  of  ivories, 
pictures,  jewels,  callings,  vestments,  plaquettes,  and  objets 
d'art,  bequeathed  to  Florence  in  1888.  Everything  here 
is  good  and  worth  examination.  Among  the  outstanding 
things  is  a  plaquette,  No.  893,  a  Satyr  and  a  Bacchante, 
attributed  to  Donatello,  under  the  title  "Allegory  of 
Spring,"  which  is  the  work  of  a  master  and  a  very  riot 
of  mythological  imagery.  The  neighbouring  plaquettes, 
many  of  them  of  the  school  of  Donatello,  are  all  beautiful. 
We  now  find  the  sixth  salon,  to  see  Verrocchio's  David, 
of  which  I  have  already  spoken.  This  wholly  charming 
boy,  a  little  nearer  life  perhaps  than  Donatello 's,  although 
not  quite  so  radiantly  distinguished,  illustrates  the  associa- 
tion of  Verrocchio  and  Leonardo  as  clearly  as  any  of  the 
paintings  do ;  for  the  head  is  sheer  Leonardo.  At  the 
Palazzo  Vecchio  we  saw  Verrocchio's  boy  with  the  dolphin 
— that  happy  bronze  lyric — arid  outside  Or  San  Michele 
his  Christ  and  S.  Thomas,  in  Donatello  and  Michelozzo's 
niche,  with  thfe  flying  cherubim  beneath.  But  as  with 
Donatello,  so  with  Verrocchio,  one  must  visit  the  Bargello 
to  see  him,  in  Florence,  most  intimately.  For  here  are  not 
only  his  David,  which  once  known  can  never  be  forgotten 


and  is  as  full  of  the  Renaissance  spirit  as  anything  ever 
fashioned,  whether  in  bronze,  marble,  or  paint,  but — up- 
stairs— certain  other  wonderfully  beautiful  things  to  which 
we  shall  come,  and,  that  being  so,  I  would  like  here  to  say 
a  little  about  their  author. 

Verrocchio  is  a  nickname,  signifying  the  true  eye. 
Andrea's  real  name  was  de'  Cioni ;  he  is  known  to  fame  as 
Andrea  of  the  true  eye,  and  since  he  had  acquired  this 
style  at  a  time  when  every  eye  was  true  enough,  his  must 
have  been  true  indeed.  It  is  probable  that  he  was  a  pupil 
of  Donatello,  who  in  1436,  when  Andrea  was  born,  was  forty- 
nine,  and  in  time  he  was  to  become  the  master  of  Leonardo  ; 
thus  are  the  great  artists  related.  The  history  of  Floren- 
tine art  is  practically  the  history  of  a  family ;  one  artist 
leads  to  the  other— the  genealogy  of  genius.  The  story 
goes  that  it  was  the  excellence  of  the  angel  contributed  by 
Leonardo  to  his  master's  picture  of  the  Baptism  of  Christ 
(at  the  Accademia)  which  decided  Verrocchio  to  paint  no 
more,  j  ust  as  Ghiberti's  superiority  in  the  relief  of  Abraham 
and  Isaac  drove  Brunelleschi  from  sculpture.  If  this  be  so, 
it  accounts  for  the  extraordinarily  small  number  of  pictures 
by  him.  Like  many  artists  of  his  day  Verrocchio  was  also  a 
goldsmith,  but  he  was  versatile  above  most,  even  when 
versatility  was  a  habit,  and  excelled  also  as  a  musician. 
Both  Piero  de'  Medici  and  Lorenzo  employed  him  to  de- 
sign their  tournament  costumes ;  and  it  was  for  Lorenzo 
that  he  made  this  charming  David  and  the  boy  and  the 
dolphin.  His  greatest  work  of  all  is  the  bronze  equestrian 
statue  of  Bartolommeo  CoUeoni  in  Venice,  the  finest  thing 
of  its  kind  in  the  world,  and  so  glorious  and  exciting  indeed 
that  every  city  should  have  a  cast  of  it  in  a  conspicuous 
position  just  for  the  good  of  the  people.  It  was  while  at 
work  upon  this  that  Verrocchio  died,  at  the  age  of  fifty- 


three.  His  body  was  brought  from  Venice  by  his  pUpil 
Lorenzo  di  Credi,  who  adored  him,  and  was  buried  in  S. 
Ambrogio  in  Florence.  Lorenzo  di  Credi  painted  his  por- 
trait, which  is  now  in  the  Uffizi — a  plump,  undistinguished- 
looking  little  man. 

In  the  David  room  are  also  the  extremely  interesting 
rival  bronze  reliefs  of  Abraham  sacrificing  Isaac,  which 
were  made  by  Ghiberti  and  Brunelleschi  as  trials  of  skill 
to  see  which  would  win  the  commission  to  design  the  new 
gates  of  the  Baptistery,  as  I  have  told  earlier  in  this 
book.  Six  competitors  entered  for  the  contest ;  but  Ghi- 
berti's  and  Brunelleschi's  efforts  were  alone  considered 
seriously.  A  comparison  of  these  two  reliefs  proves  that 
Ghiberti,  at  any  rate,  had  a  finer  sense  of  grouping.  He 
filled  the  space  at  his  disposal  more  easily  and  his  hand 
was  more  fluent ;  but  there  is  a  very  engaging  vivacity  in 
the  other  work,  the  realistic  details  of  which  are  so  arrest- 
ing as  to  make  one  regret  that  Brunelleschi  had  for  sculpture 
so  little  time.  In  S.  Maria  Novella  is  that  cracifix  in  wood 
which  he  carved  for  his  fiiend  Donatello,  but  his  only 
other  sculptured  work  in  Florence  is  the  door  of  his  beauti- 
ful Pazzi  chapel  in  the  cloisters  of  S.  Croce.  Of  Ghiberti's 
Baptistery  gates  I  have  said  more  elsewhere.  Enough  here 
to  add  that  the  episode  of  Abraham  and  Isaac  does  not 
occur  in  them. 

This  little  room  also  has  a  Cassa  Reliquiaria  by  Ghi- 
berti, below  a  fine  relief  by  Bertoldo,  Michelangelo's 
master  in  sculpture,  representing  a  battle  between  the 
Romans  and  the  Barbarians ;  cases  of  exquisite  bronzes ; 
the  head,  in  bronze  (No.  26),  of  an  old  placid,  shrewd  woman, 
executed  from  a  death-mask,  which  the  photographers  call 
Contessina  de'  Bardi,  wife  of  Cosimo  de'  Medici,  by  Dona- 
tello, but  which  cannot  be  so,  since  the  sculptor  died  first ; 


heads  of  Apollo  and  two  babies,  over  the  Ghiberti  and 
Brunelleschi  competition  reliefs ;  a  crucifixion  by  Bertoldo ; 
a  row  of  babies  representing  the  triumph  of  Bacchus  ; 
and  below  these  a  case  of  medals  and  plaquettes,  every  one 
a  masterpiece. 

The  next  room,  Sala  VII,  is  apportioned  chiefly  between 
Cellini  and  Gian  or  Giovanni  da  Bologna,  the  two 
sculptors  who  dominate  the  Loggia  de'  Lanzi.  Here  we 
may  see  models  for  Cellini's  Perseus  in  bronze  and  wax 
and  also  for  the  relief  of  the  rescue  of  Andromeda,  under 
the  statue;  his  Cosimo  I,  with  the  wart  (omitted  by 
Bandinelli  in  the  head  downstairs,  which  pairs  with 
Michelangelo's  Brutus) ;  and  various  smaller  works.  But 
personally  I  find  that  Cellini  will  not  do  in  such  near 
proximity  to  Donatello,  Verrocchio,  and  their  gentle  fol- 
lowers. He  was,  of  course,  far  later.  He  was  not  born 
(in  1500)  until  Donatello  had  been  dead  thirty-four  years, 
Mino  da  Fiesole  sixteen  years,  Desiderio  da  Settignano 
thirty-six  yeai's,  and  Verrocchio  twelve  years.  He  thus  did 
not  begin  to  work  until  the  finer  impulses  of  the  Renais- 
sance were  exhausted.  Giovanni  da  Bologna,  although 
he,  it  is  true,  was  even  later  (1524-1608),  I  find  more  sym- 
pathetic ;  while  Landor  boldly  proclaimed  him  superior  to 
Michelangelo.  His  "  Mercury,"  in  the  middle  of  the  room, 
which  one  sees  counterfeited  in  all  the  statuary  shops  of 
Florence,  is  truly  very  nearly  light  as  air.  If  ever  bronze 
floated,  this  figure  does.  His  cherubs  and  dolphins  are 
very  skilful  and  merry ;  his  turkey  and  eagle  and  other 
animals  indicate  that  he  I  had  humility.  John  of  Bologna 
is  best  known  at  Florence  by  his  Rape  of  the  Sabines  and 
Hercules  and  Nessus  in  the  Loggia  de'  Lanzi ;  but  the 
Boboli  gardens  have  a  fine  group  of  Oceanus  and  river 
gods  by  him  in  the  midst  of  a  lake.     Before  leaving  this 


room  look  at  the  relief  of  Christ  in  glory  (No.  35),  to 
the  left  of  the  door,  by  Jacopo  Sansovino,  a  rival  of  Michel- 
angelo, which  is  most  admirable,  and  at  the  case  of 
bronze  animals  by  Pietro  Tacca,  John  of  Bologna's  pupil, 
who  made  the  famous  boar  (a  copy  of  an  ancient  marble) 
at  the  Mercato  Nuovo  and  the  reliefs  for  the  pediment  of 
the  statue  of  Cosimo  I  (by  his  master)  in  the  Piazza  della 
Signoria.  But  I  believe  that  the  most  beautiful  thing  in 
this  room  is  the  bronze  figure  for  the  tomb  of  Mariano 
Sozzino  by  Lorenzo  di  Pietro. 

Before  we  look  at  the  della  Robbias,  which  are  in  the 
two  large  rooms  upstairs,  let  us  finish  with  the  marble  and 
terra-cotta  statuary  in  the  two  smaller  rooms  to  the  left  as 
one  passes  through  the  first  della  Robbia  room.  In  the 
first  of  them,  corresponding  to  the  room  with  VeiTocchio's 
David  downstairs,  we  find  Ven-occhio  again,  with  a  bust  of 
Piero  di  Lorenzo  de'  Medici  (whom  Botticelli  painted  in 
the  Uffizi  holding  a  medal  in  his  hand)  and  a  most  ex- 
quisite Madonna  and  Child  in  terra-cotta  from  S.  Maria 
Nuova.  (This  is  on  a  hinge,  for  better  light,  but  the 
official  skies  will  fall  if  you  touch  it.)  Here  also  is  the 
bust  of  a  young  warrior  by  Antonio  PoUaiuolo  (1429-1 4*98) 
who  was  Venocchio's  closest  rival  and  one  of  Ghiberti's 
assistants  for  the  second  Baptistery  doors.  His  greatest 
work  is  at  Rome,  but  this  bust  is  indescribably  charming, 
said  the  softness  of  the  boy's  contours  is  almost  of  life. 
It  is  sometimes  called  Giuliano  de'  Medici.  Other 
beautiful  objects  in  the  room  are  the  terra-cotta  Madonna 
and  Child  by  Andrea  Sansovino  (1460-1529),  Pollaiuolo's 
pupil,  which  is  as  radiant  although  not  so  domestically 
lovely  as  Verrocchio's ;  the  bust  by  Benedetto  da  Maiano 
(1442-1497)  of  Pietro  Mellini,  that  shrewd  and  wrinkled 
pati'on  of  the  Church  who  presented  to  S.  Croce  the  famous 


pulpat  by  this  sculptor ;  an  ancient  lady,  by  the  door,  in 
coloured  terra-cotta,  who  is  thought  to  represent  Monna 
Tessa,  the  nurse  of  Dante's  Beatrice ;  and  certain  other 
works  by  that  delightful  and  prolific  person  Ignoto  Fioren- 
tino,  who  here,  and  in  the  next  room,  which  we  now  enter, 
is  at  his  best. 

This  next  priceless  room  is  chiefly  memorable  for  Ver- 
rocchio  and  Mino  da  Fiesole.  We  come  to  Verrocchio  at 
once,  on  the  left,  where  his  relief  of  the  death  of  Francesca 
Pitti  Tornabuoni  (on  a  tiny  bed  only  half  as  long  as  her- 
self) may  be  seen.  This  poor  lady,  who  died  in  childbirth, 
was  the  wife  of  Giovanni  Tornabuoni,  and  he  it  was  who 
employed  Ghirlandaio  to  make  the  frescoes  in  the  choir  of 
S.  Maria  Novella.  (I  ought,  however,  to  state  that  Miss 
Cruttwell,  in  her  monograph  on  Verrocchio,  questions  both 
the  subject  and  the  artist.)  Close  by  we  have  two  more 
works  by  Verrocchio — No.  180,  a  marble  relief  of  the 
Madonna  and  Child,  the  Madonna's  dress  fastened  by  the 
prettiest  of  brooches,  and  She  herself  possessing  a  dainty 
sad  head  and  the  long  fingers  that  Verrocchio  so  favoured, 
which  we  find  again  in  the  famous  "Gentildonna"  (No.  181) 
next  it — that  Florentine  lady  with  flowers  in  her  bosom, 
whose  contours  are  so  exquisite  and  who  has  such  pretty 

Near  by  is  the  little  eager  S.  John  the  Baptist  as  a  boy  by 
Antonio  Rossellino  (1427-1478),  and  on  the  next  wall  the 
same  sculptor's  circular  relief  of  the  Madonna  adoring,  in 
a  border  of  cherubs.  In  the  middle  is  the  masterpiece 
of  Jacopo  Sansovino  (1486-1570) :  a  Bacchus,  so  strangely 
like  a  genuine  antique,  full  of  Greek  lightness  and  grace. 
And  then  we  come  back  to  the  wall  in  which  the  door  is, 
and  find  more  works  from  the  delicate  hand  of  Mino 
da  Fiesole,  whom  we  in  London  are  fortunate  in  being 

BVS'V    OF    A    BOV    (sometimes    (^VLLKIt    Till':    HOV    CMRls'l) 
ilV    !A  CA    OK    A\  Die  I-  A    HI':  I,  I,  A    U'  >l'.  I'.[  A     IN'      I  H  I-:    1'.  \l<i  .F-U.I.ll 


able  to  study  as  near  home  as  at  the  Victoria  and  Albert 
Museum.  Of  Mine  I  have  said  more  both  at  the  Badia  and 
at  Fiesole.  But  here  I  might  remark  again  that  he  was 
bom  in  1431  and  died  in  1484,  and  was  the  favourite 
pupil  of  Desiderio  da  Settignano,  who  was  in  his  turn  the 
favourite  pupil  of  Donatello. 

In  the  little  church  of  S.  Ambrogio  we  have  seen  a  tablet 
to  the  memory  of  Mino,  who  lies  there,  not  far  from  the 
grave  of  Verrocchio,  whom  he  most  nearly  approaclied  in 
feeling,  although  their  ideal  type  of  woman  differed  in 
everything  save  the  slendemess  of  the  fingers.  The  Bar- 
gello  has  both  busts  and  reliefs  by  him,  all  distinguished 
and  sensitive  and  marked  by  Mino's  profound  refinement. 
The  Madonna  and  Child  in  No.  232  are  peculiarly  beauti- 
ful and  notable  both  for  high  relief  and  shallow  relief,  and 
the  Child  in  No.  193  is  even  more  charming.  For  delicacy 
and  vivacity  in  marble  portraiture  it  would  be  impossible 
to  surpass  the  head  of  Rinaldo  della  Luna ;  and  the  two 
Medicis  are  wonderfully  real.  Everything  in  Mino's  work 
is  thoughtful  and  exquisite,  while  the  unusual  type  of  face 
which  so  attracted  him  gives  him  freshness  too. 

This  room  and  that  next  it  illustrate  the  wealth  of  fine 
sculptors  which  Florence  had  in  the  fifteenth  century,  for 
the  works  by  the  unknown  hands  axe  in  some  cases  hardly 
less  beautiful  and  masterly  than  those  by  the  known.  Look, 
for  example,  at  the  fleur-de-lis  over  the  door ;  at  the 
Madonna  and  Child  next  it,  on  the  right ;  at  the  girl's 
head  next  to  that ;  at  the  baby  girl  at  the  other  end  of  the 
room ;  and  at  the  older  boy  and  his  pendant.  But  one 
does  not  need  to  come  here  to  form  an  idea  of  the  wealth 
of  good  sculpture.  The  streets  alone  are  full  of  it.  Every 
palace  has  beautiful  stone-work  and  an  escutcheon  which 
often  only  a  master  could  execute — as  Donatello  devised 


that  for  the  Palazzo  Pazzi  in  the  Borgo  degli  Albizzi.  On 
the  gi'eat  staircase  of  the  Bargello,  for  example,  are  num- 
bers of  Coats  of  arms  that  could  not  be  more  beautifully 
designed  and  incised. 

In  the  room  leading  from  that  which  is  memorable  for 
Pollaiuolo's  youth  in  armour  is  a  collection  of  medals  by  all 
the  best  medallists,  beginning,  in  the  first  case,  with  Pisan- 
ello.  Here  are  his  Sigismondo  Malatesta,  the  tyrant  of 
Rimini,  and  Isotta  his  wife ;  here  also  is  a  portrait  of  Leon 
Battista  Alberti,  who  designed  and  worked  on  the  cathedral 
of  Rimini  as  well  as  upon  S.  Maria  Novella  in  Florence. 
On  the  other  side  of  this  case  is  the  medal  commemorating 
the  Pazzi  conspiracy.  In  other  cases  are  pretty  Italian 
ladies,  such  as  Julia  Astalla,  Lucrezia  Tomabuoni,  with 
her  hair  in  curls  just  as  in  Ghirlandaio's  frescoes,  Costanza 
Rucellai,  Leonora  Altoviti,  Maria  Poliziano,  and  Maria 
de'  Mucini. 

And  so  we  come  to  the  della  Robbias,  without  whose 
joyous,  radiant  art  Florence  would  be  only  half  as  beautiful 
as  she  is.  Of  these  exquisite  artists  Luca,  the  uncle,  born 
in  1400,  was  by  far  the  greatest.  Andrea,  his  nephew,  bom 
in  1435,  came  next,  and  then  Giovanni.  Luca  seems  to  have 
been  a  serious,  quiet  man  who  would  probably  have  made 
sculpture  not  much  below  his  friend  Donatello's  had  not  he 
chanced  on  the  discovery  of  a  means  of  colouring  and  glazing 
terra-cotta.  Examples  of  this  craft  are  seen  all  over  Flor- 
ence both  within  doors  and  out,  as  the  pages  of  this  book 
indicate,  but  at  the  Bargello  is  the  greatest  number  of  small 
pieces  gathered  together.  I  do  not  say  there  is  anything  here 
more  notable  than  the  Annunciation  attributed  to  Andrea 
at  the  Spedale  degli  Innocenti,  while  of  course,  for  most 
people,  his  putti  on  the  fa9ade  of  that  building  are  the  della 
Robbia  symbol ;  nor  is  there  anything  finer  than  Luca's 


work  at  Impruneta  ;  but  as  a  collection  of  sweetness  and 
gentle  domestic  beauty  these  Bargello  reliefs  are  unequalled, 
both  in  character  and  in  volume.  Here  you  see  what  one 
might  call  Roman  Catholic  art — that  is,  the  art  which  at 
once  gives  pleasure  to  simple  souls  and  symbolizes  bene- 
volence and  safety  —  carried  out  to  its  highest  power. 
Tenderness,  happiness,  and  purity  are  equally  suggested  by 
every  relief  here.  Had  Luca  and  Andrea  been  entrusted 
with  the  creation  of  the  world  it  would  be  a  paradise. 
And,  as  it  is,  it  seems  to  me  impossible  but  that  they  left 
the  world  sweeter  than  they  found  it.  Such  examples  of 
affection  and  solicitude  as  they  were  continually  bringing 
to  the  popular  vision  must  have  engendered  kindness. 

I  have  noted  as  especially  beautiful  in  the  first  room  Nos. 
4,  6,  12,  23,  by  Andrea ;  and  10  and  21,  by  Luca.  These, 
by  the  way,  are  the  Bargello  ascriptions,  but  the  experts  do 
not  always  agree.  Herr  Bode,  for  example,  who  has  studied 
the  della  Robbias  with  passionate  thoroughness,  gives  the 
famous  head  of  the  boy,  which  is  in  reproduction  one  of  the 
best-known  works  of  plastic  art,  to  Luca ;  but  the  Bargello 
director  says  Andrea.  In  Herr  Bode's  fascinating  mono- 
graph, "  Florentine  Sculptors  of  the  Renaissance,"  he  goes 
very  carefully  into  the  differences  between  the  uncle  and 
the  nephew,  master  and  pupil.  In  all  the  groups,  for  ex- 
ample, he  says  that  Luca  places  the  Child  on  the  Madonna's 
left  arm,  Andrea  on  the  right.  In  the  second  room  I  have 
marked  particularly  Nos.  21,  28,  and  31,  by  Luca,  28  being 
a  deeper  relief  than  usual,  and  the  Madonna  not  adoring  but 
holding  and  delighting  in  one  of  the  most  adorable  of  Babies. 
Observe  in  the  reproduction  of  this  relief  in  this  volume — 
how  the  Mother's  fingers  sink  into  the  child's  flesh.  Luca 
was  the  first  sculptor  to  notice  that  No.  31  is  the 
lovely  Madonna  of  the  Rose  Bower.     But  nothing  gives  me 


more  pleasure  than  the  boy's  head  of  which  I  have  just 
spoken,  attributed  to  Andrea  and  also  reproduced  here. 
The  "Giovane  Donna"  which  pairs  with  it  has  extra- 
ordinary charm  and  delicacy  too.  I  have  marked  also, 
by  Andrea,  Nos.  71  and  76.  Giovanni  della  Robbia's  best  is 
perhaps  No.  15,  in  the  other  room. 

One  curious  thing  that  one  notes  about  della  Robbia 
pottery  is  its  inability  to  travel.  It  was  made  for  the 
church  and  it  should  remain  there.  Even  in  the  Bargello, 
where  there  is  an  ancient  environment,  it  loses  half  its 
charm;  while  in  an  English  museum  it  becomes  hard  and 
cold.  But  in  a  church  tO  which  the  poor  carry  their 
troubles,  with  a  dim  light  and  a  little  incense,  it  is  perfect, 
far  beyond  painting*  in  its  tenderness  and  symbolic  value.  I 
speak  of  course  of  the  Madonnas  and  altai'-pieces.  When  the 
della  Robbias  worked  for  the  open  air — as  in  the  fa9ade  of 
the  Children's  Hospital,  or  at  the  Certosa,  or  in  the  Loggia 
di  San  Paolo,  opposite  S.  Maria  Novella,  where  one  may  see 
the  beautiful  meeting  of  S.  Francis  and  S.  Dominic,  by 
Andrea — they  seem,  in  Italy,  to  have  fitness  enough  ;  but 
it  would  not  do  to  transplant  any  of  these  reliefs  to  an 
English  fagade.  There  was  once,  I  might  add,  in  Florence 
a  Via  della  Robbia,  but  it  is  now  the  Via  Nazionale.  I 
suppose  this  injustice  to  the  great  potters  came  about  in 
the  eighteen-sixties,  when  popular  political  enthusiasm  led 
to  every  kind  of  similar  re-naming. 

In  the  room  leading  out  of  the  second  della  Robbia  room 
is  a  collection  of  vestments  and  brocades  bequeathed  by 
Baron  Giulio  Franchetti,  where  you  may  see,  dating  from 
as  far  back  as  the  sixth  century,  designs  that  for  beauty 
and  splendour  and  durability  put  to  shame  most  of  the 
stuffs  now  woven ;  but  the  top  floor  of  the  Museo  Archeo- 
logico  in  the  Via  della  Colonna  is  the  chief  home  in 
Florence  of  such  treasures. 


There  are  other  beautiful  things  in  the  Bargello  of  which 
I  have  said  nothing — a  gallery  of  mediaeval  bells  most 
exquisitely  designed,  from  famous  steeples  ;  cases  of  carved 
ivory  ;  and  many  of  such  treasures  as  one  sees  at  the  Cluny 
in  Paris.  But  it  is  for  its  courtyard  and  for  the  Renaissance 
sculpture  that  one  goes  to  the  Bargello,  and  returns  again 
and  again  to  the  Bargello,  and  it  is  for  these  that  one 
remembers  it. 

On  returning  to  London  the  first  duty  of  every  one  who 
has  drunk  deep  of  delight  in  the  Bargello  is  to  visit  that 
too  much  neglected  treasure-house  of  our  own,  the  Victoria 
and  Albert  Museum  at  South  Kensington;  There  may 
be  nothing  at  South  Kensington  as  fine  as  the  Bargello's 
finest,  but  it  is  a  priceless  collection  and  is  superior  to 
the  Bargello  in  one  respect  at  any  rate,  for  it  has  a  relief 
attributed  to  Leonardo.  Here  also  is  an  adorable  Madonna 
and  laughing  Child,  beyond  anything  in  Florence  for  sheer 
gaiety  if  not  mischief,  which  the  South  Kensington  authori- 
ties call  a  Rossellino  but  Herr  Bode  a  Desiderio  da 
Settignano.  The  room  is  rich  too  in  Donatello  and  in  Ver- 
rocchio,  and  altogether  it  makes  a  perfect  footnote  to  the 
Bargello.  It  also  has  within  call  learned  gentlemen  who 
can  give  intimate  information  about  the  exhibits,  which 
the  Bargello  badly  lacks.  The  Louvre  and  the  Kaiser 
Friedrich  Museum  in  Berlin — but  particularly  the  Kaiser 
Friedrich  since  Herr  Bode,  who  has  such  a  passion  for  this 
period,  became  its  director — have  priceless  treasures,  and 
in  Paris  I  have  had  the  privilege  of  seeing  the  little  but 
exquisite  collection  foimed  by  M.  Gustave  Dreyfus,  domi- 
nated by  that  mirthful  Italian  child  which  the  Bargello 
authorities  consider  to  be  by  Donatello,  but  Herr  Bode 
gives  to  Desiderio.  At  the  Louvre,  in  galleries  on  the 
ground  floor  gained  through  the  Egyptian  sculpture  section 


and  opened  very  capriciously,  may  be  seen  the  finest  of 
the  prisoners  from  Michelangelo's  tomb  for  Pope  Julius ; 
Donatello's  youthful  Baptist ;  a  Madonna  and  Children  by 
Agostino  di  Duccio,  whom  we  saw  at  the  Museum  of  the 
Cathedral;  an  early  coloured  terra-cotta  by  Luca  della 
Robbia,  and  No.  316,  a  ten-a-cotta  Madonna  and  Child 
without  ascription,  which  looks  very  like  Rossellino. 

In  addition  to  originals  there  are  at  South  Kensington 
casts  of  many  of  the  Bargello's  most  valuable  possessions, 
such  as  Donatello's  and  Verrocchio's  Davids,  Donatello's 
Baptist  and  many  heads,  Mino  da  Fiesole's  best  Madonna, 
PoUaiuolo's  Young  WaiTior,  and  so  forth;  so  that  to 
loiter  there  is  most  attractively  to  recapture  something  of 
the  Florentine  feeling. 



An  historic  piazza — Marble  fa9ades — Florence's  Westminster  Abbey — 
Galileo's  ancestor  and  Ruskin — Benedetto's  pulpit — Michelangelo's  tomb 
— A  fond  lady — Donatello's  Annunciation — Giotto's  frescoes — S.  Fran- 
cis— Donatello  magnanimous — The  gifted  Albert! — Desiderio's  great  tomb 
— The  sacristy — The  Medici  chapel — The  Pazzi  chapel — Old  Jacopo 
desecrated — A  Restoration, 

THE  piazza  S.  Croce  now  belongs  to  children.  The 
chureh  is  at  one  end,  bizarre  buildings  are  on  either 
side,  the  Dante  statue  is  in  the  middle,  and  harsh  gravel 
covers  the  ground.  Everywhere  are  children,  all  dirty,  and 
all  rather  squalid  and  mostly  bow-legged,  showing  that 
they  were  of  the  wrong  age  to  take  their  first  steps  on  Holy 
Saturday  at  noon.  The  long  brown  building  on  the  right, 
as  we  face  S.  Croce,  is  a  seventeenth-century  palazzo.  For 
the  rest,  the  architecture  is  chiefly  notable  for  green 

The  frigid  and  florid  Dante  memorial,  which  was  un- 
veiled in  1866  on  the  six  hundredth  anniversary  of  the 
poet's  birthday,  looks  gloomily  upon  what  once  was  a  scene 
of  splendour  and  animation,  for  in  1469  Pieio  de'  Medici 
devised  here  a  tournament  in  honour  of  the  betrothed  of 
Lorenzo  to  Clarice  Orsini.  The  Queen  of  the  tournament 
was  Lucrezia  Donati,  and  she  awarded  the  first  prize  to 


208  S.  CROCE 

Lorenzo.  The  tournament  cost  10,000  gold  florins  and 
was  very  splendid,  Verrocchio  and  other  artists  being 
called  in  to  design  costumes,  and  it  is  thought  that 
Pollaiuolo's  terra-cotta  of  the  Young  Warrior  in  the  Bar- 
gello  represents  the  comely  Giuliano  de'  Medici  as  he 
appeared  in  his  armour  in  the  lists.  The  piazza  was  the 
scene  also  of  that  famous  tournament  given  by  Lorenzo 
de'  Medici  for  Giuliano  in  1474,  of  which  the  beautiful 
Simonetta  was  the  Queen  of  Beauty,  and  to  which,  as  I 
have  said  elsewhere,  we  owe  Botticelli's  two  most  famous 
pictures.  Difficult  to  reconstruct  in  the  Piazza  any  of 
those  glories  to-day. 

The  new  fagade  of  S.  Croce,  endowed  not  long  since  by  an 
Englishman,  has  been  much  abused,  but  it  is  not  so  bad.  As 
the  front  of  so  beautifiil  and  wonderful  a  church  it  may  be 
inadequate,  but  as  a  structure  of  black  and  white  marble 
it  will  do.  To  my  mind  nothing  satisfactoiy  can  now  be 
done  in  this  medium,  which,  unless  it  is  centuries  old,  is 
always  harsh  and  cuts  the  sky  like  a  knife,  instead  of  resting 
against  it  as  architecture  should.  But  when  it  is  old,  as 
at  S.  Miniato,  it  is  right. 

S.  Croce  is  the  Westminster  Abbey  of  Florence.  Michel- 
angelo lies  here,  Machiavelli  lies  here,  Galileo  lies  here ; 
and  here  Giotto  painted,  Donatello  carved,  and  Brunelleschi 
planned.  Although  outside  the  church  is  disappointing, 
within  it  is  the  most  beautiful  in  Florence.  It  has  the 
boldest  arches,  the  best  light  at  all  seasons,  the  most  at- 
tractive floor — of  gentle  red — and  an  apse  almost  wholly 
made  of  coloui-ed  glass.  Not  a  little  of  its  charm  comes 
from  the  delicate  passage-way  that  runs  the  whole  course 
of  the  church  high  up  on  the  yellow  walls.  It  also  has 
the  finest  circular  window  in  Florence,  over  the  main 
entrance,  a  "Deposition"  by  Ghiberti. 



The  lightness  was  indeed  once  so  intense  that  no  fewer 
than  twenty-two  windows  had  to  be  closed.  The  circular 
window  over  the  altar  upon  which  a  new  roof  seems  to 
be  intruding  is  in  reality  the  interloper :  the  roof  is  the 
original  one,  and  the  window  was  cut  later,  in  defiance  of 
good  architecture,  by  Vasari,  who,  since  he  was  a  pupil 
of  Michelangelo,  should  have  known  better.  To  him  was 
entrusted  the  restoration  of  the  church  in  the  middle  of  the 
sixteenth  century. 

The  original  architect  of  the  modem  S.  Croce  was  the 
same  Arnolfo  di  Cambio,  or  Lapo,  who  began  the  Duomo. 
He  had  some  right  to  be  chosen  since  his  father,  Jacopo, 
or  Lapo,  a  German,  was  the  builder  of  the  most  famous  of 
all  the  Franciscan  churches — that  at  Assisi,  which  was 
begun  while  S.  Francis  was  still  living.  And  Giotto,  who 
painted  in  that  church  his  most  famous  frescoes,  depicting 
scenes  in  the  life  of  S.  Francis,  succeeded  Amolfo  here,  as 
at  the  Duomo,  with  equal  fitness.  Arnolfo  began  S.  Croce 
in  1294,  the  year  that  the  building  of  the  Duomo  was 
decided  upon,  as  a  reply  to  the  new  Dominican  Church  of 
S.  Maria  Novella,  and  to  his  German  oiigin  is  probably 
due  the  Northern  impression  which  the  interiors  both  of 
S.  Croce  and  the  Duomo  convey. 

The  first  thing  to  examine  in  S.  Croce  is  the  floor-tomb, 
close  to  the  centre  door,  upon  which  Ruskin  wi-ote  one 
of  his  most  characteristic  passages.  The  tomb  is  of  an 
ancestor  of  Galileo  (who  lies  close  by,  but  beneath  a  florid 
monument),  and  it  represents  a  mediaeval  scholarly  figure 
with  folded  hands.  Ruskin  writes :  "  That  worn  face  is 
still  a  perfect  poi-trait  of  the  old  man,  though  like  one 
struck  out  at  a  venture,  with  a  few  rough  touches  of  a 
master's  chisel.  And  that  falling  drapery  of  his  cap  is,  in 
its  few  lines,  faultless,  and  subtle  beyond  description.  And 

210  S.  CROCE 

now,  here  is  a  simple  but  most  useful  test  of  your  capacity 
for  understanding  Florentine  sculpture  or  painting.  If  you 
can  see  that  the  lines  of  that  cap  are  both  right,  and  lovely ; 
that  the  choice  of  the  folds  is  exquisite  in  its  ornamental 
relations  of  line ;  and  that  the  softness  and  ease  of  them  is 
complete, — though  only  sketched  with  a  few  dark  touches,-»- 
then  you  can  understand  Giotto's  drawing,  and  Botticelli's  ; 
Donatello's  carving  and  Luca's.  But  if  you  see  nothing 
in  this  sculpture,  you  will  see  nothing  in  theirs,  of  theirs. 
Where  they  choose  to  imitate  flesh,  or  silk,  or  to  play  any 
vulgar  modem  trick  with  marble — (and  they  often  do) — 
whatever,  in  a  word,  is  French,  or  American,  or  Cockney, 
in  their  work,  you  can  see ;  but  what  is  Florentine,  and  for 
ever  gi'eat — unless  you  can  see  also  the  beauty  of  this  old 
man  in  his  citizen's  cap,- — you  will  see  never." 

The  passage  is  in  "  Mornings  in  Florence,"  which  begins 
with  S.  Croce  and  should  be  read  by  every  one  visiting  the 
city.  And  here  let  me  advise  another  companion  for  this 
church:  a  little  dark  enthusiast,  in  a  black  skull  cap, 
named  Alfred  Branconi,  who  is  usually  to  be  found  just 
inside  the  doors,  but  may  be  secured  as  a  guide  by  a  post- 
card to  the  church.  Signor  Branconi  knows  S.  Croce  and 
he  loves  it,  and  he  has  the  further  qualifications  of  know- 
ing all  Florence  too  and  speaking  excellent  English,  which 
he  taught  himself 

The  S.  Croce  pulpit,  which  is  by  Benedetto  da  Maiano, 
is  a  satisfying  thing,  accomplished  both  in  proportions  and 
workmanship,  with  panels  illustrating  scenes  in  the  life 
of  S.  Francis.  These  are  all  most  gently  and  persuasively 
done,  influenced,  of  com-se,  by  the  Baptistery  doors,  but 
individual  too,  and  full  of  a  kindred  sweetness]]and  liveliness. 
The  scenes  are  the  "  Confirmation  of  the  Fi'anciscan 
Order"  (the  best,  I  think)  ;  the  "  Burning  of  the  Books  "  ; 


the  "  Stigmata,"  which  we  shall  see  again  in  the  church, 
in  fresco,  for  here  we  are  all  dedicated  to  the  saint  of 
Assisi,  not  yet  having  come  upon  the  stem  S,  Dominic,  the 
ruler  at  S.  Marco  and  S.  Maria  Novella ;  the  "  Death  of 
S.  Francis,"  very  real  and  touching,  which  we  shall  also 
see  again;  and  the  execution  of  certain  Franciscans. 
Benedetto,  who  was  also  an  architect  and  made  the  plan 
of  the  Strozzi  palace,  was  so  unwilling  that  anything 
should  mar  the  scheme  of  his  pulpit,  that  after  strengthen- 
ing this  pillar  with  the  greatest  care  and  thoroughness,  he 
hollowed  it  and  placed  the  stairs  inside. 

The  first  tomb  on  the  right,  close  to  this  pulpit,  is  Michel- 
angelo's, a  mass  of  allegory,  designed  by  his  friend  Vasari, 
the  author  of  the  "  Lives  of  the  Ai'tists,"  the  reading  of 
which  is  perhaps  the  best  preparation  for  the  understand- 
ing of  Florence.  "If  life  pleases  us,"  Michelangelo  once 
said,  "  we  ought  not  to  be  grieved  by  death,  which  comes 
from  the  same  Giver."  Michelangelo  had  intended  the 
Pieti,  now  in  the  Duomo,  to  stand  above  his  grave ;  but 
Vasari,  who  had  a  little  of  the  Pepys  in  his  nature,  thought 
to  do  him  greater  honour  by  this  ornateness.  The  artist 
was  laid  to  his  rest  in  1564,  but  not  before  his  body  was 
exhumed,  by  his  nephew,  at  Rome,  where  the  great  man 
had  died,  and  a  series  of  elaborate  ceremonies  had  been 
performed,  which  Vasari,  who  is  here  trustworthy  enough, 
describes  minutely.  All  the  artists  in  Florence  vied  in 
celebrating  the  dead  master  in  memorial  paintings  for  his 
catafalque  and  its  suiToundings,  which  have  now  perished ; 
but  probably  the  loss  is  not  great,  except  as  an  example  of 
homage,  for  that  was  a  bad  period.  How  bad  it  was  may 
be  a  little  gauged  by  Vasari's  tributory  tomb  and  his 
window  over  the  high  altar. 

Opposite  Michelangelo's  tomb,  on  the  pillar,  is  the  pretty 

212  S.  CROCE 

but  rather  Victorian  "  Madonna  del  Latte,"  surrounded 
by  angels,  by  Bernardo  Rossellino  (1409-1464),  brother  of 
the  author  of  the  gi-eat  tomb  at  S.  Miniato.  This  pretty 
relief  was  commissioned  as  a  family  memorial  by  that 
Francesco  Nori,  the  close  friend  of  Lorenzo  de'  Medici,  who 
was  killed  in  the  Duomo  during  the  Pazzi  conspkacy  in  his 
effort  to  save  Lorenzo  from  the  assassins. 

The  tomb  of  Alfieri,  the  dramatist,  to  which  we  now 
come,  was  erected  at  the  cost  of  his  mistress,  the  Countess 
of  Albany,  who  herself  sat  to  Canova  for  the  figure  of 
bereaved  Italy.  This  curious  and  unfortunate  woman 
became,  at  the  age  of  nineteen,  the  wife  of  the  Young 
Pretender,  twenty-seven  years  after  the  '45,  and  led  a 
miserable  existence  with  him  (due  chiefly  to  his  depravity, 
but  a  little,  she  always  held,  to  the  circumstance  that  they 
chose  Good  Friday  for  their  wedding  day)  until  Alfieri  fell 
in  love  with  her  and  offered  his  protection.  Together  she 
and  the  poet  remained,  apparently  contented  with  each 
other  and  received  by  society,  even  by  the  English  Royal 
family,  until  Alfieri  died,  in  1803,  when  after  exclaiming 
that  she  had  lost  all — "consolations,  support,  societyj 
all,  all ! " — and  establishing  this  handsome  memorial,  she 
selected  the  French  artist  Fabre  to  fill  the  aching  void  in 
her  fifty-years-old  heart ;  and  Fabre  not  only  filled  it  until 
her  death  in  1824,  but  became  the  heir  of  all  that  had 
been  bequeathed  to  her  by  both  the  Stuart  and  Alfieri. 
Such  was  the  Countess  of  Albany,  to  whom  human  affec- 
tion was  so  necessary.  She  herself  is  buried  close  by,  in 
the  chapel  of  the  Castellani. 

Mi's.  Piozzi,  in  her  "Glimpses  of  Italian  Society/' 
mentions  seeing  in  Florence  in  1786  the  unhappy  Pretender. 
Though  old  and  sickly,  he  went  much  into  society,  sported 
the  English  arms  and  liveryj  and  wore  the  gartei'. 

\:\-    V>V.S\liKWlO    DA    Sli  ITK.X.WU    IK    S.    CROCl' 


Other  tombs  in  the  right  aisle  are  those  of  Machiavelli, 
the  statesman  and  author  of  "  The  Prince,"  and  Rossini, 
the  composer  of  "  WilHam  Tell,"  who  died  in  Paris  in  1868, 
but  was  bi'ought  here  for  burial.  These  tombs  are  mo- 
dern and  of  no  artistic  value,  but  there  is  near  them  a  fine 
fifteenth-century  example  in  the  monument  by  Bernardo 
Rossellino  to  another  statesman  and  author,  Leonardo 
Bruni,  known  as  Aretino,  who  wrote  the  lives  of  Dante 
and  Petrarch  and  a  Latin  history  of  Florence,  a  copy  of 
which  was  placed  on  his  heart  at  his  funeral.  This  tomb 
is  considered  to  be  Rossellino's  masterpiece ;  but  there  is 
one  opposite  by  another  hand  which  dwarfs  it. 

There  is  also  a  work  of  sculpture  near  it,  in  the  same 
wall,  which  draws  away  the  eyes — Donatello's  "  Annuncia- 
tion ".  The  experts  now  think  this  to  belong  to  the  sculp- 
tor's middle  period,  but  Vasari  thought  it  earlier,  and 
makes  it  the  work  which  had  most  influence  in  estab- 
lishing his  reputation ;  while  according  to  the  archives 
it  was  placed  in  the  church  before  Donatello  was  living. 
Vasari  ought  to  be  better  informed  upon  this  point  than 
usual,  since  it  was  he  who  was  employed  in  the  sixteenth 
century  to  renovate  S.  Croce,  at  which  time  the  chapel 
for  whose  altar  the  relief  was  made — that  of  the  Caval- 
canti  family — was  removed.  The  relief  now  stands  unre- 
lated to  anything.  Every  detail  of  it  should  be  examined ; 
but  Alfred  Branconi  will  see  to  that.  The  stone  is  the 
grey  pietra  aerena  of  Fiesole,  and  Donatello  has  plentifully, 
but  not  too  plentifully,  lightened  it  with  gold,  which  is 
exactly  what  all  artists  who  used  this  medium  for  sculpture 
should  have  done.  By  a  pleasant  tactful  touch  the  de- 
signer of  the  modem  Donatello  monument  in  S.  Lorenzo 
has  followed  the  master's  lead. 

Almost  everything  of  Donatello's  that  one  sees  is  in  turn 

214  S.  CROCE 

the  best ;  but  standing  before  this  lovely  work  one  is  more 
than  commonly  conscious  of  being  in  the  prSence  of  a 
wonderful  creator.  The  Virgin  is  wholly  unlike  any  other 
woman,  and  She  is  surprising  and  modem  even  for  Dona- 
tello  with  his  vast  range.  The  charming  terra-cotta  boys 
above  are  almost  without  doubt  from  the  same  hand,  but 
they  cannot  have  been  made  for  this  monument 

To  the  della  Robbias  we  come  in  the  Castellani  chapel 
in  the  right  transept,  which  has  two  full-length  statues  by 
either  Luca  or  Andrea,  in  the  gentle  glazed  medium,  of 
S.  Francis  and  S.  Bernard,  quite  different  from  any- 
thing we  have  seen  or  shall  see,  because  isolated.  The  other 
full-size  figures  by  these  masters — such  as  those  at  Impruneta 
— are  placed  against  the  wall.  The  S.  Bernard,  on  the 
left  as  one  enters  the  chapel,  is  far  the  finer.  It  surely 
must  be  one  of  the  most  beautiful  male  draped  figures  in 
the  world. 

The  next  chapel,  at  the  end  of  the  transept,  was  once 
enriched  by  Giotto  frescoes,  but  they  no  longer  exist. 
There  are,  however,  an  interesting  but  restored  series  of 
scenes  in  the  life  of  the  Virgin  by  Taddeo  Gaddi,  Giotto's 
godson ;  a  Madonna  ascending  to  heaven,  by  Mainardi, 
who  was  Ghirlandaio's  pupil,  and  so  satisfactory  a  one  that 
he  was  rewarded  by  the  hand  of  his  master's  sister  ;  and  a 
pretty  piece  of  Gothic  sculpture  with  the  Christ  Child 
upon  it.  Hereabouts,  I  may  remark,  we  have  continually* 
to  be  walking  over  floor-tombs,  now  ruined  beyond  hope, 
their  ruin  being  perhaps  the  cause  of  a  protecting  rail 
being  placed  round  the  others;  although  a  floor-tomb 
should  have,  I  think,  a  little  wearing  from  the  feet  of 
worshippers,  just  to  soften  the  lines.  Those  at  the  Cer- 
tosa  are,  for  example,  far  too  sharp  and  clean. 

Let  us  complete  the  round  of  the  church  before  we 


examine  the  sacristy,  and  go  now  to  the  two  chapels,  where 
Giotto  may  be  found  at  his  best,  although  restored  too,  on 
this  side  of  the  high  altar.  The  Peruzzi  chapel  has  scenes 
fi'om  the  lives  of  the  two  S.  Johns,  the  Baptist,  and  the 
Evangelist :  all  rather  too  thoroughly  re-painted,  although 
following  Giotto's  groundwork  closely  enough  to  retain 
much  of  their  interest  and  value.  And  here  once  again 
one  should  consult  the  "  Mornings  in  Florence,"  where  the 
wilful  discerning  enthusiast  is,  like  his  revered  subject,  also 
at  his  best.  Giotto's  thoughtfulneps  could  not  be  better 
illustrated  than  in  S.  Croce.  One  sees  him,  as  ever,  think- 
ing of  everything  :  not  a  very  remarkable  attribute  of  the 
fresco  painter  since  then,  but  very  remarkable  then,  when 
any  kind  of  facile  saintliness  sufficed.  Signor  Bianchi,  who 
found  these  paintings  under  the  whitewash  in  1868,  and 
restored  them,  overdid  his  part,  there  is  no  doubt ;  but  as 
I  have  said,  their  interest  is  unharmed,  and  it  is  that  which 
one  so  delights  in.  Look,  for  instance,  at  the  attitude  of 
Drusiana,  suddenly  twitched  by  S.  John  back  again  into 
this  vale  of  tears,  while  her  bier  is  on  its  way  to  the 
cemetery  outside  the  pretty  city,  "Am  I  really  to  live 
again  ?  "  she  so  plainly  says  to  the  inexorable  miracle- 
worker.  The  dancing  of  Herodias'  daughtei",  which  offered 
Griotto  less  scope,  is  original  too — original  not  because  it 
came  so  early,  but  because  Giotto's  mind  was  original  and 
innovating  and  creative.  The  musician  is  charming.  The 
last  scene  of  all  is  a  delightful  blend  of  religious  fervour 
and  reality :  the  miraculous  ascent  from  the  tomb,  through 
an  elegant  Florentine  loggia,  to  everlasting  glory,  in  a 
blaze  of  gold,  and  Christ  and  an  apostle  leaning  out  of 
heaven  with  outstretched  hands  to  pull  the  saint  in,  as 
into  a  boat.  Such  a  Christ  as  that  could  not  but  be 
believed  in. 

216  S.  CROCE 

In  the  next  chapel,  the  Bardi,  we  find  Giotto  at  work  on 
a  life  of  S.  Francis,  and  here  again  Ruskin  is  essential.  It 
was  a  task  which,  since  this  church  was  the  great  effort  of 
the  Florentine  Franciscans,  would  put  an  artist  upon  his 
mettle,  and  Giotto  set  the  chosen  incidents  before  the 
observers  with  the  discretion  and  skill  of  the  great  bio- 
gi'apher  that  he  was,  and  not  only  that,  but  the  great  Assisi 
decorator  that  he  was.  No  choice  could  have  been  better 
at  any  time  in  the  history  of  art.  Giotto  chose  the  follow- 
ing scenes,  one  or  two  of  which  coincide  with  those  on 
Benedetto  da  Maiano's  pulpit,  which  came  of  course  many 
years  later  :  the  "  Confirmation  of  the  Rules  of  the  Pi-an- 
ciscans,"  "S.  Francis  before  the  Sultan  and  the  Magi," 
"  S.  Francis  Sick  and  Appealing  to  the  Bishop  of  Assisi," 
"S.  Francis  Fleeing  from  His  Father's  House  and  His 
Reception  by  the  Bishop  of  Assisi,"  and  the  "Death  of 
S.  Francis  ".  Giotto's  Assisi  frescoes,  which  preceded  these, 
anticipate  them ;  but  in  some  cases  these  are  considered  to 
be  better,  although  in  othei-s  not  so  good.  It  is  generally 
agreed  that  the  death  scene  is  the  best.  Note  the  charac- 
teristic touch  by  which  Giotto  makes  one  of  the  monks  at 
the  head  of  the  bed  look  up  at  the  precise  moment  when 
the  saint  dies,  seeing  him  being  received  into  heaven. 
According  to  Vasari,  one  of  the  two  monks  (on  the  ex- 
treme left,  as  I  suppose)  is  Giotto's  portrait  of  the  architect 
of  the  church,  Arnolfo.  The  altar  picture,  consisting  of 
many  more  scenes  in  the  life  of  S.  R-ancis,  is  often  attri- 
buted to  Cimabue,  Giotto's  master,  but  probably  is  by 
another  hand.  In  one  of  these  scenes  the  saint  is  found 
preaching  to  what  must  be  the  most  attentive  birds  on 
recoi-d.  The  figures  on  the  ceiling  represent  Poverty, 
Chastity,  and  Obedience,  which  all  Franciscans  are  pledged 
to  observe.     The  glass  is  coeval  with  the  building,  which 


has  been  described  as  the  most  perfect  Gothic  chapel  in 

The  founder  of  this  chapel  was  Ridolfo  de'  Baixli,  whose 
family  early  in  the  fourteenth  century  bade  fair  to  become 
as  powerful  as  the  Medici,  and  by  the  same  means,  theii' 
business  being  banking  and  money-lending,  in  association 
with  the  founders  of  the  adjoining  chapel,  the  Peruzzi, 
Ridolfo's  father  died  in  1310,  and  his  son,  who  had  become 
a  Franciscan,  in  1327 ;  and  the  chapel  was  built,  and  Giotto 
probably  painted  the  frescoes,  soon  after  the  father's  death. 
Both  the  Bardi  and  Peruzzi  wei"e  brought  low  by  our 
King  Edward  III,  who  borrowed  from  them  money  with 
which  to  fight  the  French,  at  Crecy  and  Poitiers,  and 
omitted  to  repay  it. 

The  chapels  in  the  left  transept  are  less  interesting,  except 
perhaps  to  students  of  painting  in  its  early  days.  In  the 
'  chapel  at  the  end  we  find  Donatello's  wooden  CTUcifix  which 
led  to  that  friendly  rivalry  on  the  part  of  Brunelleschi,  the 
story  of  which  is  one  of  the  best  in  all  Vasari.  Donatello, 
having  finished  this  wooden  crucifix,  and  being  unusually 
satisfied  with  it,  asked  Brunelleschi's  opinion,  confidently  ex- 
pecting praise.  But  Brunelleschi,  who  was  sufficiently  close 
a  friend  to  say  what  he  thought,  replied  that  the  type  was 
too  rough  and  common  :  it  was  not  Christ  but  a  peasant. 
Christ,  of  course,  was  a  peasant ;  but  by  peasant  Brunel- 
leschi meant  a  stupid,  dull  man.  Donatello,  chagrined, 
had  recourse  to  what  has  always  been  a  popular  retort  to 
critics,  and  challenged  him  to  make  a  better.  Bininel- 
leschi  took  it  very  quietly :  he  said  nothing  in  reply,  but 
secretly  for  many  months,  in  the  intervals  of  his  ai-chitecture, 
worked  at  his  own  version,  and  then  one  day,  when  it  was 
finished,  invited  Donatello  to  dinner,  stopping  at  the  Mer- 
cato  Vecchio  to  get  some  eggs  and  other  things.    These  he 

218  S.  CROCE 

gave  Donatello  to  carry,  and  sent  him  on  before  him  do  the 
studio,  where  the  crucifix  was  standing  unveiled.  When 
Bmnelleschi  arrived  he  found  the  eggs  scattered  and  broken 
on  the  floor  and  Donatello  before  his  carving  in  an  ecstasy 
of  admiration.  "But  what  are  we  going  to  have  for 
dinner  ?  "  the  host  inquired.  "  Dinner  ! "  said  Donatello ; 
"  I've  had  all  the  dinner  I  require.  To  thee  it  is  given  to 
cai've  Christs  :  to  me  only  peasants."  No  one  should  for- 
get this  pretty  story,  either  here  or  at  S.  Maria  Novella, 
where  Brunelleschi's  crucifix  now  is. 

The  flexible  Siena  iron  grille  of  this  end  chapel  dates 
fi'om  1S35.     Note  its  ivy  border. 

On  entering  the  left  aisle  we  find  the  tombs  of  Cherubini, 
the  composer,  Raphael  Moi'ghen,  the  engraver,  and  that 
curious  example  of  the  Florentine  universalist,  whose  figui'e 
we  saw  under  the  Uflizi,  Leon  Battista  Alberti  (1405-1472), 
architect,  painter,  author,  mathematician,  scholar,  conver- 
sationalist, aiistocrat,  and  friend  of  princes.  His  chief 
work  in  Florence  is  the  Rucellai  palace  and  the  fa9ade  of 
S.  Maria  Novella,  but  he  was  greater  as  an  influence  than 
creator,  and  his  manuals  on  architecture,  painting,  and 
the  study  of  perspective  helped  to  bring  the  arts  to  perfec- 
tion. It  is  at  Rimini  that  he  was  perhaps  most  wonderful. 
Lorenzo  de'  Medici  greatly  valued  his  society,  and  he  was 
a  leader  in  the  Platonic  Academy.  But  the  most  human 
achievement  to  his  credit  is  his  powerful  plea  for  using 
the  vernacular  in  literature,  rather  than  concealing  one's 
best  thoughts,  as  was  fashionable  before  his  protest,  in 
Latin.  So  much  for  Alberti's  intellectual  side.  Physically 
he  was  remarkable  too,  and  one  of  his  accomplishments  was. 
to  jump  over  a  man  standing  upright,  while  he  was  also  able 
to  throw  a  coin  on  to  the  highest  tower,  even,  I  suppose,  the 
Campanile,  and  ride  any  horse,  however  wild.     At  the 

RULE    S'lA'IUL.    m'    .MICHEL    ANGELO    I\    'JHE    ACCADL.'\[1A 
a  of  tit  I  ■.  ifatnc  in  I'larbl,-  . 


Bargello  may  be  seen  Alberti's  portrait,  on  a  medal  designed 
by  Pisanello.  The  old  medals  are  indeed  the  best  authoiity 
for  the  lineaments  of  the  great  men  of  the  Renaissance, 
better  far  than  paint.  At  South  Kensington  thousands 
may  be  seen,  either  in  the  original  or  in  reproduction. 

In  the  right  aisle  we  saw  Bernardo  Rossellino's  tomb  of 
Leonardo  Bruni ;  in  the  left  is  that  of  Bruni's  successor  as 
Secretary  of  State,  Carlo  Mai-suppini,  by  Desiderio  da  Set- 
tignano,  which  is  high  among  the  most  beautiful  monu- 
ments that  exist.  "Faine,  faine  !  "  says  Alfred  Branconi, 
with  his  black  eyes  dimmed  ;  and  this  though  he  has  seen  it 
every  day  fpr  years  and  explained  its  beauties  in  the  same 
words.  Everything  about  it  is  beautiful,  as  the  photograph 
which  I  give  in  this  volume  will  help  the  reader  to 
believe :  proportions,  figures,  and  tracery ;  but  I  still  con- 
sider Mino's  monument  to  Ugo  in  the  Badia  the  finest 
Florentine  example  of  the  gentler  memorial  style,  as  con- 
trasted with  the  severe  Michelangelesque  manner.  Mino, 
it  must  be  remembered,  was  Desiderio's  pupil,  as  Desiderio 
was  Donatello's.  Note  how  Desiderio,  by  an  inspiration, 
opened  the  leaf-work  at  each  side  of  the  sarcophagus  and 
instantly  the  great  solid  mass  of  marble  became  light, 
almost  buoyant.  Never  can  a  few  strokes  of  the  chisel 
have  had  so  transforming  an  effect.  There  is  some  doubt 
as  to  whether  the  boys  are  just  where  the  sculptor  set 
them,  and  the  upper  ones  with  their  garlands  are  thought 
to  be  a  later  addition  j  but  we  are  never  likely  to  know, 
rhe  returned  visitor  from  Florence  will  like  to  be  reminded 
that,  as  of  so  many  others  of  the  best  Florentine  sculptures, 
there  is  a  cast  of  this  at  South  Kensington. 

The  last  tomb  of  the  highest  importance  in  the  church 
:s  that  of  Galileo,  the  astronomer,  who  died  in  1642  ;  but 
t  is  not  interesting  as  a  work  of  art.     In  the  centre  of  the 


church  is  a  floor-tomb  by  Ghiberti,  with  a  bronze  figure  of 
a  famous  Franciscan,  Francesco  Sansoni  da  Brescia. 

Next  the  sacristy.  Italian  priests  apparently  have  no 
resentment  against  inquisitive  foreigners  who  are  led  into 
their  dressing-rooms  while  sumptuous  and  significant  vest- 
ments are  being  donned ;  but  I  must  confess  to  feeling  it 
for  them,  and  if  my  impressions  of  the  S.  Croce  sacristy 
are  meagre  and  confused  it  is  because  of  a  certain  delicacy 
that  I  experienced  in  intruding  upon  their  rites.  For  on 
both  occasions  when  I  visited  the  sacristy  there  were 
several  priests  either  robing  or  disrobing.  Apart  from  a 
natural  disinclination  to  invade  privacy,  I  am  so  poor  a 
Roman  Catholic  as  to  be  in  some  doubt  as  to  whether  one 
has  a  right  to  be  so  near  such  a  mystery  at  all.  But 
I  recollect  that  in  this  sacristy  are  treasures  of  wood  and 
iron — the  most  beautiful  intarsia  wainscotting  I  ever  saw, 
by  Giovanni  di  Michele,  with  a  frieze  of  wolves  and  foliage, 
and  fourteenth-century  iron  gates  to  the  little  chapel,  pure 
Gothic  in  design,  with  a  little  rose  window  at  the  top, 
delicate  beyond  words :  all  which  things  once  again  turn 
the  thoughts  to  this  wonderful  Italy  of  the  fourteenth 
and  fifteenth  century,  when  not  even  the  best  was  good 
enough  for  those  who  built  churches,  but  something 
miraculous  was  demanded  from  every  craftsman. 

At  the  end  of  the  passage  in  which  the  sacristy  is 
situated  is  the  exquisite  little  Cappella  Medici,  which* 
Michelozzo,  the  architect  of  S.  Marco  and  the  Palazzo 
Medici,  and  for  a  while  Donatello's  partner,  built  for  his 
friend  Cosimo  de'  Medici,  who  though  a  Dominican  in 
his  cell  at  S.  Marco  was  a  Franciscan  here,  but  by  being 
equally  a  patron  dissociated  himself  from  partisanship. 
Three  treasures  in  particular  does  this  little  temple  hold : 
Giotto's  "  Coronation  of  the  Vii-gin  " ;  the  della  Robbia  altar 


relief,  and  Mino  da  Fiesole's  tabernacle.  Giotto's  picture, 
which  is  signed,  once  stood  as  altar-piece  in  the  Baroncelli 
chapel  of  the  church  proper.  In  addition  to  the  beautiful 
della  Robbia  altar-piece,  so  happy  and  holy — which  Alfred 
Branconi  boldly  calls  Luca — there  is  over  the  door  Christ 
between  two  angels,  a  lovely  example  of  the  same  art. 
For  a  subtler,  more  modern  and  less  religious  mind,  we 
have  but  to  turn  to  the  tabernacle  by  Mino,  every  inch  of 
which  is  exquisite. 

On  the  same  wall  is  a  curious  thing.  In  the  eighteen- 
sixties  died  a  Signer  Lombardi,  who  owned  certain  reliefs 
which  he  believed  to  be  Donatello's.  When  his  monu- 
ment was  made  these  ancient  works  were  built  into  them 
and  here  and  there  gilded  (for  it  is  a  wicked  world  and 
there  was  no  taste  at  that  time).  One's  impulse  is  not  to 
look  at  this  encroaching  piece  of  novelty  at  all ;  but  one 
should  resist  that  feeling,  because,  on  examination,  the 
Madonna  and  Children  above  Signor  Lombardi's  head  be- 
come exceedingly  interesting.  Her  hands  are  the  work  of 
a  great  artist,  and  they  are  really  holding  the  Child.  Why 
this  should  not  be  an  early  Donatello  I  do  not  see. 

The  cloisters  of  S.  Croce  are  entered  from  the  piazza, 
just  to  the  right  of  the  church :  the  first,  a  little  ornate, 
by  Amolfo,  and  the  second,  until  recently  used  as  a  bar- 
racks but  now  being  restored  to  a  more  pacific  end,  by 
Brunelleschi,  and  among  the  most  perfect  of  his  works. 
Brunelleschi  is  also  the  designer  of  the  Pazzi  chapel  in  the 
first  cloisters.  The  severity  of  the  facade  is  delightfully 
softened  and  enlivened  by  a  frieze  of  mischievous  cherubs' 
heads,  the  joint  work  of  Donatello  and  Desiderio.  Dona- 
tello's are  on  the  right,  and  one  sees  at  once  that  his  was 
the  bolder,  stronger  hand.  Look  particulai'ly  at  the  laugh- 
ing head  fourth  from  the  right.    But  that  one  of  Desiderio 's 


over  the  middle  columns  has  much  charm  and  power.  The 
doors,  from  Brunelleschi's  own  hand,  in  a  doorway  perfect 
in  scale,  are  noble  and  worthy.  The  chapel  itself  I  find 
too  severe  and  a  little  fretted  by  its  della  Robbias  and  the 
multiplicity  of  circles.  It  is  called  Brunelleschi's  master- 
piece, but  I  prefer  both  the  Badia  of  Fiesole  and  the  Old 
Sacristy  at  S.  Lorenzo,  and  I  remember  with  more  pleasure 
the  beautiful  dooi-way  leading  from  the  Amolfo  cloisters 
to  the  Brunelleschi  cloisters,  which  probably  is  his  too. 
The  della  Robbia  reliefs,  once  one  can  forgive  them  for 
being  here,  are  worth  study.  Nothing  could  be  more 
charming  (or  less  conducive  to  a  methodical  literary 
morning)  than  the  angel  who  holds  S.  Matthew's  ink-pot. 
But  I  think  my  favourite  of  all  is  the  pensive  apostle  who 
leans  his  cheek  on  his  hand  and  his  elbow  on  his  book. 
This  figure  alone  proves  what  a  sculptor  Luca  was,  apart 
altogether  from  the  charm  of  his  mind  and  the  fascination 
of  his  chosen  medium. 

This  chapel  was  once  the  scene  of  a  gruesome  ceremony; 
Old  Jacopo  Pazzi,  the  head  of  the  family  at  the  time  of 
the  Pazzi  conspiracy  against  the  Medici,  after  being  hanged 
from  a  window  of  the  Palazzo  Vecchio,  was  buried  here. 
Some  short  while  afterwards  Florence  was  inundated  by 
rain  to  such  an  extent  that  the  vengeance  of  God  was 
infen'ed,  and,  casting  about  for  a  reason,  the  Florentines 
decided  that  it  was  because  Jacopo  had  been  allowed  to 
rest  in  sacred  soil.  A  mob  therefore  rushed  to  S.  Croce, 
broke  open  his  tomb  and  dragged  his  body  through  the 
streets,  stopping  on  their  way  at  the  Pazzi  palace  to  knock 
on  the  door  with  his  skull.  He  was  then  thrown  into  the 
swollen  Arno  and  borae  away  by  the  tide. 

In  the  old  refectory  of  the  convent  are  now  a  numbra*  of 
pictures  and  fragments  of  sculpture.     The  "  Last  Supper," 


by  Taddeo  Gaddi,  on  the  wall,  is  notable  for  depicting 
Judas,  who  had  no  shrift  at  the  hands  of  the  painters,  with- 
out a  halo.  Castagno  and  Ghirlandaio,  as  we  shall  see,  under 
similar  circumstances,  placed  him  on  the  wrong  side  of  the 
table.  In  either  case,  but  particularly  perhaps  in  Taddeo's 
picture,  the  answer  to  Chi'ist's  question,  which  Leonaido 
at  Milan  makes  so  dramatic,  is  a  foregone  conclusion.  The 
"  Crucifixion  "  on  the  end  wall,  at  the  left,  is  interesting  as 
having  been  painted  for  the  Porta  S.  Gallo  (in  the  Piazza 
Cavour)  and  removed  here.  All  the  gates  of  Florence  had 
religious  frescoes  in  them,  some  of  which  still  remain. 
The  great  bronze  bishop  is  said  to  be  by  Donatello  and  to 
have  been  meant  for  Or  San  Michele ;  but  one  does  not 
much  mind. 

One  finds  occasion  to  say  so  many  hard  things  of  the 
Florentine  disregard  of  ancient  art  that  it  is  peculiarly  a 
pleasure  to  see  the  progress  that  is  being  made  in  restoring 
Brunelleschi's  perfect  cloisters  at  S.  Croce  to  their  original 
form.  When  they  were  turned  into  barracks  the  Loggia 
was  walled  in  all  round  and  made  into  a  series  of  rooms. 
These  walls  are  now  gi-adually  coming  away,  the  lovely 
pillars  being  again  isolated,  the  chimneys  removed,  and 
everything  lightly  washed.  Grass  has  also  been  sown  in 
the  great  central  square.  The  crumbling  of  the  decorative 
medals  in  the  spandrels  of  the  cloisters  cannot  of  course 
be  restored ;  but  one  does  not  complain  of  such  natural 
decay  as  that. 



Michelangelo  —  The  David — The  tomb  of  Julius  — A  contrast— Fra 
Angelico— The  beatific  painter — Cimabue  and  Giotto — Masaccio — 
Gentile  da  Fabriano — Domenico  Ghirlandaio — Fra  Angelico  again — Fra 
Bartolommeo — Perugino — Botticelli — The  "  Priraavera  " — Leonardo  da 
Vinci  and  Verrocchio — Botticelli's  sacred  pictures — Botticini — Tapestries 

of  Eden. 

THE  Accademia  delle  Belle  Arti  is  in  the  Via  Ricasoli, 
that  street  which  seen  from  the  top  of  the  Campan- 
ile is  the  straightest  thing  in  Florence,  running  like  a  ruled 
line  from  the  Duomo  to  the  valley  of  the  Mugnone.  Up- 
stairs are  modem  painters  :  but  upstaii-s  I  have  never  been. 
It  is  the  ground-floor  rooms  that  are  so  memorable,  con- 
taining as  they  do  a  small  but  very  choice  collection 
of  pictures  illustrating  the  growth  of  Italian  art,  with 
particular  emphasis  on  Florentine  art ;  the  best  assemblage 
of  the  work  of  Fra  Angelico  that  exists  ;  and  a  large 
gallery  given  up  to  Michelangelo's  sculpture :  originals  and 
casts.  The  principal  magnets  that  draw  people  here,  no 
doubt,  are  the  Fra  Angelicos  and  Botticelli's  "  Primavera  "  ; 
but  in  five  at  least  of  the  rooms  there  is  not  an  uninterest- 
ing picture,  while  the  collection  is  so  small  that  one  can 
study  it  without  fatigue — no  little  matter  after  the 
crowded  Uffizi  and  Pitti. 

It  is  a  simple  matter  to  choose  in  such  a  book  as  this 



the  best  place  in  which  to  tell  something  of  the  life-story 
of,  say,  Giotto  and  Brunelleschi  and  the  della  Bobbias ;  for 
at  a  certain  point  their  genius  is  found  concentrated — 
Donatello's  and  the  della  Robbias'  in  the  Bargello  and 
those  others  at  the  Duomo  and  Campanile.  But  with 
Michelangelo  it  is  different,  he  is  so  distributed  over  the 
city — his  gigantic  David  here,  the  Medici  tombs  at  S. 
Lorenzo,  his  fortifications  at  S.  Miniato,  his  tomb  at  S. 
Croce,  while  there  remains  his  house  as  a  natural  focus  of 
all  his  activities.  I  have,  however,  chosen  the  Medici  chapel 
as  the  spot  best  suited  for  his  biography,  and  therefore  will 
here  dwell  only  on  the  originals  that  are  preserved  about 
the  David.  The  David  himself,  superb  and  confident, 
is  the  first  thing  you  see  in  enteiing  the  doors  of  the  gallery. 
He  stands  at  the  end,  white  and  glorious,  with  his  eyes 
steadfastly  measuring  his  antagonist  and  calculating  upon 
what  will  be  his  next  move  if  the  sling  misdirects  the  stone. 
Of  the  objection  to  the  statue  as  being  not  representative 
of  the  Biblical  figure  I  have  said  something  in  the  chapter 
on  the  Bargello,  where  several  Davids  come  under  review. 
Yet,  after  all  that  can  be  said  against  its  dramatic  fit- 
ness, the  statue  remains  an  impressive  and  majestic  yet 
strangely  human  thing.  There  it  is — a  sign  of  what  a  little 
Italian  sculptor  with  a  broken  nose  could  fashion  with  his 
mallet  and  chisel  from  a  mass  of  marble  four  hundred  and 
more  yeare  ago. 

Its  history  is  curious.  In  1501,  when  Michelangelo  was 
twenty -six  and  had  just  returned  to  Florence  from  Rome 
with  a  great  reputation  as  a  sculptor,  the  joint  authorities 
of  the  cathedral  and  the  Arte  della  Lana  offered  him  a  huge 
block  of  marble  that  had  been  in  their  possession  for  thirty- 
five  years,  having  been  worked  upon  clumsily  by  a  sculptor 
named  Baccellino  and  then  set  aside.  Michelangelo  was  told 


that  if  he  accepted  it  he  must  carve  from  it  a  David  and 
have  it  done  in  two  years.    He  began  in  September,  1501, 
and  finished  in  January,  1504,  and  a  committee  was  ap- 
pointed to  decide  upon  its  position,  among  them  being 
Leonardo  da  Vinci,  Perugino,  Lorenzo  di  Credi,  Filippino 
Lippi,  Botticelli,  and  Andrea  della  Robbia.     There  were 
three  suggested  sites :  the  Loggia  de'  Lanzi ;  the  court- 
yard  of  the  Palazzo  Vecchio,    where   Verrocchio's  little 
boudoir  David  then  stood  (now  in   the   Bargello)  and 
where  his   Cupid  and  dolphin  now  are;  and  the  place 
where  it  now  stands,  then  occupied  by  Donatello's  Judith 
and  Holofernes.      This  last  was  finally  selected,  not  by 
the  committee  but  by  the  determination  of  Michelangelo 
himself,  and   Judith  and  Holofernes  were  moved  to  the 
Loggia  de'  Lanzi  to  their  present  position.     The  David 
was  set  up  in  May,  1504,  and  remained  there  for  three 
hundred  and  sixty-nine  years,  suffering  no  harm  from  the 
weather  but  having  an  arm  broken  in  the  Medici  riots  in 
1527.     In  1873,  however,  it  was  decided  that  further  ex- 
posure might  be  injurious,  and  so  the  statue  was  moved 
here  to  its  frigid  niche  and  a  replica  in  marble  afterwards 
set  up  in  its  place.     Since  this  glorious  figure  is  to  be  seen 
thrice  in  Florence,  he  may  be  said  to  have  become  the 
second  symbol  of  the  city,  next  the  fleur-de-lis. 

The  Tribuna  del  David,  as  the  Michelangelo  salon  is 
called,  has  among  other  originals  several  figures  intended 
for  that  tomb  of  Pope  Julius  II  (whose  portrait  by  Raphael 
we  have  seen  at  the  Uffizi)  which  was  to  be  the  eighth 
wonder  of  the  world,  and  by  which  the  last  years  of  the  sculp- 
tor's life  were  rendered  so  unhappy.  The  story  is  a  miser- 
able one.  Of  the  various  component  parts  of  the  tomb, 
finished  or  unfinished,  the  best  known  is  the  Moses  at  S. 
Pietro  in  Vincoli  at  Rome,  reproduced  in  plaster  here, 


in  the  Accademia,  beneath  the  bronze  head  of  its  author. 
Various  other  parts  are  in  Rome  too ;  others  here ;  one  or 
two  may  be  at  the  Bargella  (although  some  authorities 
give  these  supposed  Michelangelos  to  Vincenzo  Danti); 
others  are  in  the  grotto  of  the  Boboli  Gardens;  and 
the  Louvre  has  what  is  in  some  respects  the  finest  of  the 
"  Prisoners ''. 

The  first  statue  on  the  right  of  the  entrance  of  the  Tri- 
buna  del  David  is  a  group  called  "  Genio  Vittorioso  ".  Here 
in  the  old  man  we  see  rock  actually  turned  to  life ;  in  the 
various  "  Prisoners ''  near  we  see  life  emerging  from  rock ;  in 
the  David  we  forget  the  rock  altogether.  One  wonders 
how  Michelangelo  went  to  work.  Did  the  shape  of  the 
block  of  marble  influence  him,  or  did  he  with  his  mind's 
eye,  the  Rontgen  rays  of  genius,  see  the  figure  within  it, 
embedded  in  the  midst,  and  hew  and  chip  until  it  disclosed  ? 
On  the  back  of  the  fourth  statue  on  the  left  a  monkish  face 
has  been  incised :  probaby  some  visitor  to  the  studio.  After 
looking  at  these  originals  and  casts,  and  remembering  those 
other  Michelangelo  sculptures  elsewhere  in  Florence — the 
tombs  of  the  Medici,  the  Bnitus  and  the  smaller  David 
— turn  to  the  bronze  head  over  the  cast  of  Moses  and  reflect 
upon  the  author  of  it  all :  the  profoundly  sorrowful  eyes 
behind  which  so  much  power  and  ambition  and  disappoint- 
ment dwelt. 

It  is  peculiarly  interesting  to  walk  out  of  the  Michel- 
angelo gallery  into  the  little  room  containing  the  Era 
Angelicos :  to  pass  from  a  great  melancholy  saturnine 
sculptor,  the  victim  of  the  caprice  of  princes  temporal  and 
spiritual,  his  eyes  troubled  with  world  knowledge  and  world 
weariness,  to  the  child-like  celebrant  of  the  joy  of  simple 
faith  who  painted  these  gay  and  happy  pictures.  Fra 
Angelico — the  sweetest  of  all  the  Florentine  painters^-was 


a  monk  of  Fiesole,  whose  real  name  was  Guido  Petri  da 
Mugello,  but  becoming  a  Dominican  he  called  himself 
Giovanni,  and  now  through  the  sanctity  and  happiness  of 
his  brush  is  for  all  time  Beato  Angelico.  He  was  bofti  in 
1390,  nearly  sixty  years  after  Giotto's  death,  when  Chaucer 
was  fifty,  and  Richard  H  on  the  English  throne.  His  early 
years  were  spent  in  exile  from  Fiesole,  the  brothers  having 
come  into  difficulties  with  the  Archbishop,  but  by  1418  he 
was  again  at  Fiesole,  and  when  in  1436  Cosimo  de'  Medici, 
returned  from  exile  at  Venice,  set  his  friend  Michelozzo 
upon  building  the  convent  of  S.  Marco,  Fra  Angelico 
was  fetched  from  Fiesole  to  decorate  the  walls.  There, 
and  here,  in  the  Accademia,  are  his  chief  works  assembled ; 
but  he  worked  also  at  Fiesole,  at  Cortona,  and  at  Rome, 
where  he  painted  frescoes  in  the  chapel  of  Nicholas  V  in 
the  Vatican  and  where  he  died,  aged  sixty-eight,  and  was 
buried.  It  was  while  at  Rome  that  the  Pope  offered  him 
the  priorship  of  S.  Marco,  which  he  declined  as  being  un- 
worthy, but  recommended  Antonio,  "  the  good  archbishop  ". 
— That  practically  is  his  whole  life.  As  to  his  character, 
let  Vasari  tell  us.  "  He  would  often  say  that  whosoever 
practised  art  needed  a  quiet  life  and  freedom  from  care, 
and  he  who  occupies  himself  with  the  things  of  Christ  ought 
always  to  be  with  Christ.  .  .  .  Some  say  that  Fra  Giovanni 
never  took  up  his  brush  without  first  making  a  prayer.  .  .  . 
He  never  made  a  crucifix  when  the  teai-s  did  not  course 
down  his  cheeks."  The  one  curious  thing — to  me — about 
Fra  Angelico  is  that  he  has  not  been  canonized.  If  ever  a 
son  of  the  Church  toiled  for  her  honour  and  for  the  happi- 
ness of  mankind  it  was  he. 

There  are  examples  of  Fra  Angelico's  work  elsewhere  in 
Florence  ;  the  large  picture  in  Room  I  of  this  gallery ;  the 
large  altar-piece  at  the   Uffizi,  with  certain   others;   the 


FROM     J-llE    I'AINTING    IIV    FKA    ANGKLICu    IN    TUt    ALLMJIi-MlA 


series  of  mural  paintings  in  the  cells  of  S.  Marco ;  and  his 
pictures  will  be  found  not  only  elsewhere  in  Florence  and 
Italy  but  in  the  chief  galleries  of  the  world ;  for  he  was 
very  assiduous.  We  have  an  excellent  example  at  the 
National  Gallery,  No.  663 ;  but  this  little  room  gives  us  the 
artist  and  rhapsodist  most  completely.  In  looking  at  his 
pictures,  three  things  in  particuleir  strike  the  mind:  the 
skill  with  which  he  composed  them  ;  his  mastery  of  light ; 
and — and  here  he  is  unique — the  pleasure  he  must  have 
had  in  painting  them.  All  seem  to  have  been  play ;  he 
enjoyed  the  toil  exactly  as  a  child  enjoys  the  labour  of 
building  a  house  with  toy  bricks.  Nor,  one  feels,  could  he 
be  depressed.  Even  in  his  Crucifixions  there  is  a  certain 
underlying  happiness,  due  to  his  knowledge  that  the  Cruci- 
fied was  to  rise  again  and  ascend  to  Heaven  and  enjoy 
eternal  felicity.  Knowing  this  (as  he  did  know  it)  how 
could  he  be  wholly  cast  down  ?  You  see  it  again  in  the 
Flagellation  of  Christ,  in  the  series  of  six  scenes  (No.  237). 
The  scourging  is  almost  a  festival.  But  best  of  all  I  like 
the  Flight  into  Egypt,  in  No.  235.  Everything  here  is 
joyous  and  (in  spite  of  the  terrible  cause  of  the  journey) 
bathed  in  the  sunny  light  of  the  age  of  innocence :  the 
landscape ;  Joseph,  younger  than  usual,  brave  and  resolute 
and  undismayed  by  the  curious  turn  in  his  fortunes ;  and 
Mary  with  the  child  in  her  arms,  happy  and  pretty,  seated 
securely  on  an  amiable  donkey  that  has  neither  bit  nor 
bridle.  It  is  when  one  looks  at  Fra  Angelico  that  one 
understands  how  wise  were  the  Old  Masters  to  seek  their 
inspiration  in  the  life  of  Christ.  One  cannot  imagine  Fra 
Angelico's  existence  in  a  pagan  country.  Look,  in  No.  236, 
at  the  six  radiant  and  rapturous  angels  clustering  above  the 
manger.  Was  there  ever  anything  prettier  ?  But  I  am 
not  sure  that  I  do  not  most  covet  No.  250,  Christ  crucified 


and    two   saints,   and    No.   251,    the   Coronation  of  the 
Virgin,  for  their  beauty  of  light. 

In  the  photographs  No.  246 — &  Deposition — is  unusu- 
ally striking,  but  in  the  original,  although  beautiful,  it  is 
far  less  radiant  than  usual  with  this  painter.  It  has,  how- 
ever, such  feeling  as  to  make  it  especially  memorable  among 
the  many  treatments  of  this  subject.  What  is  generally 
considered  the  most  important  work  in  this  room  is  the 
Last  Judgment,  which  is  certainly  extraordinarily  in- 
teresting, and  in  the  hierarchy  of  heaven  and  the  company 
of  the  blest  Fra  Angelico  is  in  a  very  acceptable  mood. 
The  benignant  Christ  Who  divides  the  sheep  and  the  goats  ; 
the  healthy  ripe-lipped  Saints  and  Fathers  who  assist  at 
the  tribunal  and  have  never  a  line  of  age  or  experience  on 
their  blooming  cheeks ;  the  monks  and  nuns,  just  risen 
from  their  graves,  who  embrace  each  other  in  the  meads  of 
paradise  with  such  fervour — these  have  much  of  the  charm 
of  little  flowers.  But  in  delineating  the  damned  the  painter 
is  in  strange  country.  It  was  a  subject  of  which  he  knew 
nothing,  and  the  introduction  among  them  of  monks  of  the 
rival  order  of  S.  Francis  is  mere  party  politics  and  a  blot. 

There  are  two  other  rooms  here,  but  Fra  Angelico  spoils 
us  for  them.  Fom*  panels  by  another  Fratp,  but  less 
radiant,  Lippo  Lippi,  are  remarkable,  particularly  the 
figure  of  the  Virgin  in  the  Annunciation ;  and  there  is  a 
curious  series  of  scenes  entitled  "L'Albero  della  Croce,"  by 
an  Ignoto  of  the  fourteenth  century,  with  a  Christ  crucified 
in  the  midst  and  all  Scriptirre  in  medallions  around  him, 
the  tragedy  of  Adam  and  Eve  at  the  foot  (mutilated  by 
some  chaste  pedant)  being  very  quaint.  And  in  Angelico's 
rooms  there  is  a  little,  modest  Annunciation  by  one  of  his 
school — No.  256 — which  shows  what  a  good  influence  he  was, 
and  to  which  the  eye  returns  and  returns.     Here  also,  on 

A  SURVEY  OF  ART  231 

easels,  are  two  portraits  of  Vallombrosan  monks  by  Fra  Bar- 
tolommeo,  serene,  and  very  sympathetically  painted,  which 
cause  one  to  regret  the  deterioration  in  Italian  ecclesiastic 
physiognomy  ;  and  Andrea  del  Sarto's  two  pretty  angels, 
which  one  so  often  finds  in  reproduction,  are  here  too. 

Let  us  now  enter  the  first  room  of  the  collection  proper 
and  begin  at  the  very  beginning  of  Tuscan  art,  for  this 
collection  is  historical  and  not  fortuitous  like  that  of  the 
Pitti.  The  student  may  here  trace  the  progress  of  Tuscan 
painting  from  the  level  to  the  highest  peaks  and  downwards 
again.  The  Accademia  was  established  with  this  purpose 
by  that  enlightened  prince,  Peter  Leopold,  Grand  Duke  of 
Tuscany,  in  1784.  Other  pictures  not  wholly  within  his 
scheme  have  been  added  since,  together  with  the  Michel- 
angelo statues  and  casts  ;  but  they  do  not  impair  the  ori- 
ginal idea.  For  the  serious  student  the  first  room  is  of  far 
the  most  importance,  for  there  he  may  begin  with  Cimabue 
(?  1240-?  1302),  and  Giotto  (1267-?  1337),  and  pass  steadily 
to  Luca  SignoreUi  (?  1450-1523).  For  the  most  part  the 
pictures  in  this  room  appeal  to  the  inquirer  rather  than 
the  sightseer ;  but  there  is  not  one  that  is  without  interest, 
while  three  works  of  extraordinary  charm  have  thoughtfully 
been  enisled,  on  screens,  for  special  attention — a  Fra  Angel- 
ico,  a  Fabriano,  and  a  Ghirlandaio.  Before  reaching  these, 
let  us  look  at  the  walls. 

The  first  large  picture,  on  the  left,  the  Cimabue,  marks 
the  transition  from  Byzantine  art  to  Italian  ai't.  Giovanni 
Cimabue,  who  was  to  be  the  forerunner  of  the  new  art,  was 
born  about  1240.  At  that  time  there  was  plenty  of  painting 
in  Italy,  but  it  was  Greek,  the  work  of  artists  at  Constanti- 
nople (Byzantium),  the  centre  of  Christianity  in  the  eastern 
half  of  the  Roman  Empire  and  the  foimt  of  ecclesiastical 
energy,  and  it  was  crude  in  workmanship,  existing  purely 


as  an  accessory  of  worship.  Cimabue,  of  whom,  I  may  say, 
almost  nothing  definite  is  known,  and  upon  whom  the  de- 
lightful but  casual  old  Vasari  is  the  earliest  authority,  as 
Dante  was  his  first  eulogist,  carried  on  the  Byzantine  tradi- 
tion, but  breathed  a  little  life  into  it.  In  his  picture  here 
we  see  him  feeling  his  way  from  the  unemotional  painted 
symbols  of  the  Faith  to  humanity  itself.  One  can  under- 
stand this  large  panel  being  carried  (as  we  know  the  similar 
one  at  S.  Maria  Novella  was)  in  procession  and  worshipped, 
but  it  is  nearer  to  the  icon  of  the  Russian  peasant  of  to- 
day than  to  a  Raphael.  The  Madonna  is  above  life ;  the 
Child  is  a  little  man.  This  was  painted,  say,  in  1280,  as 
an  altar-piece  for  the  Badia  of  S.  Trinita  at  Florence. 

Next  came  Giotto,  Cimabue's  pupU,  born  about  1267, 
whom  we  have  met  already  as  an  architect,  philosopher, 
and  innovator ;  and  in  the  second  picture  in  this  room, 
from  Giotto's  brush,  we  see  life  really  awakening.  The 
Madonna  is  vivifying ;  the  Child  is  nearer  childhood  ;  we 
can  believe  that  here  are  veins  with  blood  in  them. 
Moreover,  whereas  Cimabue's  angels  brought  masonry, 
these  bring  flowers.  It  is  crude,  no  doubt,  but  it  is 
enough  ;  the  new  art,  which  was  to  counterfeit  and  even 
extend  nature,  has  really  begun ;  the  mystery  and  glory  of 
painting  are  assured  and  the  door  opened  for  Botticelli. 

But  much  had  to  happen  first,  particularly  the  mastery 
of  the  laws  of  perspective,  and  it  was  not  (as  we  have  seen) 
until  Ghiberti  had  got  to  work  on  his  first  doors,  and 
Brunelleschi  was  studying  architecture  and  Uccello  sitting 
up  all  night  at  his  desk,  that  painting  as  we  know  it — 
painting  of  men  and  women  "  in  the  round  " — could  be 
done,  and  it  was  left  for  a  youth  who  was  not  bom  until 
Giotto  had  been  dead  sixty-four  years  to  do  this  first  as  a 
master — one  Tommaso  di  Ser  Giovanni  Guido  da  Castel  San 


Giovanni,  known  as  Masaccio,  or  Big  Tom.  The  tkree 
great  names  then  in  the  evolution  of  Italian  painting, 
a  subject  to  which  I  return  in  chapter  XXV,  on  the 
Cai-mine,  are  Cimabue,  Giotto,  Masaccio. 

We  pass  on  at  the  Accademia  from  Cimabue's  pupil 
Giotto,  to  Giotto's  followers,  Taddeo  Gaddi  and  Bernardo 
Daddi,  and  Daddi's  follower  Spinello  Aretino,  and  the  long 
dependent  and  interdependent  line  of  painters.  For  the 
most  part  they  painted  altar-pieces,  these  early  craftsmen, 
the  Church  being  the  principal  patron  of  art.  These  works 
are  many  of  them  faded  and  so  elementaiy  as  to  have  but 
an  antiquarian  interest;  but  think  of  the  excitement  in 
those  days  when  the  picture  was  at  last  ready,  and,  gay  in 
its  gold,  was  erected  in  the  chapel !  Among  the  purely 
ecclesiastical  works  No.  137,  an  Annunciation  by  Gio- 
vanni del  Biondo  (second  half  of  the  fourteenth  century),  is 
light  and  cheerful,  and  No.  142,  the  Crowning  of  the  Virgin, 
by  Rosello  di  Jacopo  Franchi  (1376-1456),  has  some  de- 
lightful details  and  is  everywhere  joyous,  with  a  charming 
green  pattern  in  it.  The  wedding  scenes  in  No.  147  give 
us  Florentine  life  on  the  mundane  side  with  some  valuable 
thoroughness,  and  the  PiefefoLorenzetti  above — scenes  in  the 
life  of  S.  Umilita — is  very  quaint  and  cheery  and  was  painted 
as  early  as  1316.  The  little  Virgin  adoring,  No.  160,  in 
the  corner,  by  the  fertile  Ignoto,  is  chai'mingly  pretty. 

And  now  for  the  three  screens,  notable  among  the 
screens  of  the  galleries  of  Europe  as  holding  three  of  the 
happiest  pictures  ever  painted.  The  first  is  the  Adora- 
tion of  the  Magi,  by  Gentile  da  Fabriano,  an  artist  of 
whom  one  sees  too  little.  His  full  name  was  Gentile  di 
Niccolo  di  Giovanni  Massi,  and  he  was  born  at  Fabriano 
between  1360  and  1370,  some  twenty  years  before  Fi-a 
Angelico.      According  to   Vasari  he   was  Fra  Angelico's 


master,  but  that  is  now  considered  doubtful,  and  yet  the 
three  Kttle  scenes  from  the  life  of  Christ  in  the  predella  of 
this  picture  are  nearer  Fra  Angelico  in  spirit  and  charm 
than  any,  not  by  a  follower,  that  I  have  seen.  Gentile 
did  much  work  at  Venice  before  he  came  to  Florence,  in 
1422,  and  this  picture,  which  is  considered  his  masterpiece, 
was  painted  in  1423  for  S.  Trinitk  He  died  four  years 
later.  Gentile  was  charming  rather  than  great,  and  to 
this  woric  might  be  applied  Ruskin's  sarcastic  description 
of  poor  Ghirlandaio's  frescoes,  that  they  are  mere  gold- 
smith's work ;  and  yet  it  is  much  more,  for  it  has  gaiety 
and  sweetness  and  the  nice  thoughtfulness  that  made  the 
Child  a  real  child,  interested  like  a  child  in  the  bald  head 
of  the  kneeling  mage ;  while  the  predella  is  not  to  be  ex- 
celled in  its  modest,  tender  beauty  by  any  in  Florence ;  and 
predellas,  I  may  remark  again,  should  never  be  overlooked, 
strong  as  the  tendency  is  to  miss  them.  Many  a  painter 
has  failed  in  the  large  space  or  made  only  a  perfunctory 
success,  but  in  the  small  has  achieved  real  feeling.  Gentile's 
Holy  Family  on  its  way  to  Egypt  is  never  to  be  for- 
gotten. Not  so  radiant  as  Fra  Angelico's,  in  the  room  we 
have  visited  out  of  due  course,  but  as  charming  in  its  own 
manner — both  in  personages  and  landscape  ;  while  the  city 
to  which  Joseph  leads  the  donkey  (again  without  reins)  is 
the  most  perfect  thing  out  of  fairyland. 

Ghirlandaio's  picture,  which  is  the  neighbour  of  Gentile's, 
is  as  a  whole  nearer  life  and  one  of  his  most  attractive 
works.  It  is,  I  think,  excelled  only  by  his  very  similar 
Adoration  of  the  Magi  at  the  Spedale  degli  Innocenti, 
which,  however,  it  is  difficult  to  see ;  and  it  is  far  beyond 
the  examples  at  the  Uffizi,  which  are  too  hot.  Of  the  life 
of  this  artist,  who  was  Michelangelo's  master,  I  shall  speak 
in  the  chapter  on  S.  Maria  Novella.     This  picture,  which 


represents  the  Adoration  of  the  Shepherds,  was  painted  in 
1485,  when  the  artist  was  thirty-six.  It  is  essentially 
pleasant :  a  religious  picture  on  the  sunny  side.  The  Child 
is  the  soul  of  babyish  content,  equally  amused  with  its 
thumb  and  the  homage  it  is  receiving.  Close  by  is  a  gold- 
finch unafraid ;  in  the  distance  is  a  citied  valley,  with  a 
river  winding  in  it ;  and  down  a  neighbouring  hill,  on  the 
top  of  which  the  shepherds  feed  their  flocks,  comes  the 
imposing  procession  of  the  Magi.  Joseph  is  more  than 
commonly  perplexed,  and  the  disparity  between  his  own  and 
his  wife's  age,  which  the  old  masters  agreed  to  make  con- 
siderable, is  more  considerable  than  usual. 

Both  Gentile  and  Ghirlandaio  chose  a  happy  subject 
and  made  it  happier ;  Fra  Angelico  (for  the  third  screen 
picture)  chose  a  melancholy  subject  and  made  it  happy, 
not  because  that  was  his  intention,  but  because  he  could 
not  help  it  He  had  only  one  set  of  colours  and  one  set 
of  countenances,  and  since  the  colours  were  of  the  gayest 
and  the  countenances  of  the  serenest,  the  result  was  bound 
to  be  peaceful  and  glad.  This  picture  is  a  large  "  De- 
posizione  della  Croce,"  an  altar-piece  for  S.  Trinita. 
There  is  such  joy  in  the  painting  and  light  in  the  sky  that 
a  child  would  clap  his  hands  at  it  all,  and  not  least  at  the 
vermilion  of  the  Redeemer's  blood.  Fra  Angelico  gave 
thought  to  every  touch :  and  his  beatific  holiness  floods 
the  work.  Each  of  these  three  great  pictures,  I  may  add 
has  its  original  frame. 

The  room  which  leads  from  this  one  is  much  less  valu- 
able; but  Fra  Bartolommeo's  Vision  of  S.  Bernard  has 
lately  been  brought  to  an  easel  here  to  give  it  char- 
acter. I  find  this  the  Prate's  most  beautiful  work.  It 
may  have  details  that  are  a  little  crude,  and  the  pointed 
nose  of  the  Virgin  is  not  perhaps  in  accordance  with  the 


best  tradition,  while  she  is  too  real  for  an  apparition; 
but  the  figure  of  the  kneeling  saint  is  masterly  and  the 
landscape  lovely  in  subject  and  feeling.  Here  too  is 
Fra  Bartolommeo's  portrait  of  Savonarola,  in  which  the 
reformer  is  shown  as  personating  S.  Peter  Martyr.  The 
picture  was  not  painted  from  life,  but  from  an  earlier 
portrait.  Fra  Bartolommeo  had  some  reason  to  know  what 
Savonarola  was  like,  for  he  was  his  personal  friend  and  a 
brother  in  the  same  convent  of  S.  Marco,  a  few  yards  from 
the  Accademia,  across  the  square.  He  was  bom  in  1475 
and  was  apprenticed  to  the  painter  Cosimo  Rosselli ;  but 
he  learned  more  from  studying  Masaccio's  frescoes  at  the 
Carmine  and  the  work  of  Leonardo  da  Vinci.  It  was  in 
1495  that  he  came  under  the  influence  of  Savonarola,  and 
he  was  the  first  artist  to  run  home  and  burn  his  studies 
from  the  nude  in  response  to  the  preacher's  denunciations. 
Three  years  later,  when  Savonarola  was  an  object  of  hatred 
and  the  convent  of  S.  Marco  was  besieged,  the  artist  was 
with  him,  and  he  then  made  a  vow  that  if  he  lived  he  would 
join  the  order;  and  this  promise  he  kept,  although  not 
until  Savonarola  had  been  executed.  For  a  while,  as  a 
monk,  he  laid  aside  the  brush,  but  in  1506  he  resumed  it 
and  painted  until  his  death,  in  1517.  He  was  buried  at 
S.  Marco. 

In  his  less  regenerate  days  Fra  Bartolommeo's  gi-eatest 
friend  was  the  jovial  Mariotto  Albertinelli,  whose  rathei- 
theatrical  Annunciation  hangs  between  a  number  of  the 
monk's  other  portraits,  all  very  interesting.  Of  Albertinelli 
I  have  spoken  earlier.  Before  leaving,  look  at  the  tiny 
Ignoto  next  the  door — a  Madonna  and  Child,  the  child 
eating  a  pomegi'anate.     It  is  a  little  picture  to  steal. 

In  the  next  room  are  a  number  of  the  later  and  showy 
painters,  such  as  Carlo  Dolci,  Lorenzo  Lippi,  and  Francesco 

'I'llE    AlKikATlOX    OF    THE    SHEniKRDs 
l'AI\M\i,    ll\-    IHIMKMC"'    (.IIIRl.AX  DATO    I  .\     THK 


Furini,  all  bold,  dashing,  self-satisfied  hands,  in  whom  (so 
near  the  real  thing)  one  can  take  no  interest.  Nothing  to 
steal  here. 

Returning  through  Sala  Prima  we  come  to  the  Sala  del 
Perugino  and  are  among  the  masters  once  more — riper  and 
richer  than  most  of  those  we  have  already  seen,  for  Tuscan 
art  here  reaches  its  finest  flower.  Perugino  is  here  and 
Botticelli,  Fra  Bartolommeo  and  Leonardo,  Luca  Signorelli, 
Fra  Lippo  Lippi  and  Filippino  Lippi.  And  here  is  a  Ma- 
saccio.  The  great  Perugino  Assumption  has  all  his  mellow 
sunset  calm,  and  never  was  a  landscape  more  tenderly  sympa- 
thetic. The  same  painter's  Deposition  hangs  next,  and  the 
custodian  brings  a  magnifying  glass  that  the  tears  on  the 
Magdalen's  cheek  may  be  more  closely  observed  ;  but  the 
third.  No.  53,  Christ  in  the  Garden  of  Gethsemane,  is  finer, 
and  here  again  the  landscape  and  light  are  perfect.  For  the 
rest,  there  is  a  Royal  Academy  Andrea  and  a  formal  Ghir- 

And  now  we  come  to  Botticelli,  who  although  less 
richly  represented  in  numbers  than  at  the  Uffizi,  is  for 
the  majority  of  his  admirers  more  to  be  sought  here,  by 
reason  of  the  "  Primavera  "allegory,  which  is  the  Accademia's 
most  powerful  magnet.  The  Botticellis  are  divided  be- 
tween two  rooms,  the  "  Primavera "  being  in  the  first. 
The  fii-st  feeling  one  has  is  how  much  cooler  it  is  here  than 
among  the  Peruginos,  and  how  much  gayer ;  for  not  only 
is  there  the  "  Primavera,"  but  Fra  Lippo  Lippi  is  here  too, 
with  a  company  of  angels  helping  to  crown  the  Vii-gin,  and  a 
very  sweet,  almost  transparent,  little  Madonna  adoring 
— No.  79 — which  one  cannot  forget. 

The  "  Primavera  "  is  not  wearing  too  well :  one  sees  that 
at  once.  Being  in  tempera  it  cannot  be  cleaned,  and  a 
dulness   is  overlaying  it;    but  nothing  can  deprive  the 


figure  of  Spring  of  her  joy  and  movement,  a  floating  type 
of  conquering  beauty  and  youth.  The  most  wonderful 
thing  about  this  wonderful  picture  is  that  it  should  have 
been  painted  when  it  was  :  that,  suddenly,  out  of  a  solid 
phalanx  of  Madonnas  should  have  stepped  these  radiant 
creatures  of  the  joyous  earth,  earthy  and  joyful.  And 
not  only  that  they  should  have  so  surprisingly  and  sud- 
denly emerged,  but  that  after  all  these  years  this  figure 
of  Spring  should  still  be  the  finest  of  her  kind.  That  is  the 
miracle !  Luca  Signorelli's  flowers  at  the  Uffizi  remain 
the  best,  but  Botticelli's  are  very  thoughtful  and  before 
the  grass  turned  black  they  must  have  been  very  lovely ; 
the  exquisite  drawing  of  the  irises  in  the  right-hand 
corner  can  still  be  traced,  although  the  colour  has  gone. 
The  effect  now  is  rather  like  a  Chinese  painting.  For  the 
history  of  the  "Primavera"  and  its  signification,  one  must 
turn  back  to  Chapter  X. 

I  spoke  just  now  of  Luca's  flowers.  There  are  others  in 
his  pictui'e  in  this  room — botanist's  flowers  as  distinguished 
from  painter's  flowers :  the  wild  strawberry  beautifully 
straggling.  This  picture  is  one  of  the  most  remarkable 
in  all  Florence  to  me :  a  Crucifixion  to  which  the  perishing 
of  the  colour  has  given  an  effect  of  extreme  delicacy,  while 
the  group  round  the  cross  on  the  distant  mound  has  a 
quality  for  which  one  usually  goes  to  Spanish  art.  The 
Magdalen  is  curiously  sulky  and  human.  Into  the  skull 
at  the  foot  of  the  cross  creeps  a  lizard. 

This  room  has  three  Lippo  Lippis,  which  is  an  interest- 
ing cii-cumstance  when  we  remember  that  that  dissolute 
brother  was  the  gi-eatest  influence  on  Botticelli.  The 
largest  is  the  Coronation  of  the  Virgin  with  its  many  lilies 
— a  picture  which  one  must  delight  in,  so  happy  and 
crowded  is  it,  but  which  never  seems  to  roe  quite  what  it 


should  be.  The  most  fascinating  part  of  it  is  the  figures 
in  the  two  Httle  medallions  :  two  perfect  pieces  of  colour 
and  design.  The  kneeling  monk  on  the  right  is  Lippo 
Lippi  himself.  Near  it  is  the  Madonna  adoring,  No. 
79,  of  which  I  have  spoken,  with  herself  so  luminous  and 
the  background  so  dark ;  the  other — No.  82 — is  less  re- 
markable. No.  81,  above  it,  is  by  Browning's  Pacchiorotto 
(who  worked  in  distemper) ;  close  by  is  the  Masaccio, 
which  has  a  deep,  quiet  beauty  ;  and  beneath  it  is  a  richly 
coloured  predella  by  Andrea  del  Sarto,  the  work  of  a  few 
hours,  I  should  guess,  and  full  of  spirit  and  vigour.  It  con- 
sists of  four  scriptural  scenes  which  might  be  called  the  direct 
forerunners  of  Sir  John  Gilbert  and  the  modem  illustrators. 
Lastly  we  have  what  is  in  many  ways  the  most  interesting 
picture  in  Florence — No.  71,  the  Baptism  of  Christ — for 
it  is  held  by  some  authorities  to  be  the  only  known  paint- 
ing by  Verrocchio,  whose  sculptures  we  saw  in  the  Bargello 
and  at  Or  San  Michele,  while  in  one  of  the  angels — that 
surely  on  the  left — we  are  to  see  the  hand  of  his  pupil 
Leonardo  da  Vinci.  Their  faces  are  singularly  sweet. 
Other  authorities  consider  not  only  that  Verrocchio  painted 
the  whole  picture  himself  but  that  he  painted  also  the 
Annunciation  at  the  Uffizi  to  which  Leonardo's  name  is 
given.  Be  that  as  it  may — and  we  shall  never  know — this 
is  a  beautiful  thing.  According  to  Vasari  it  was  the 
excellence  of  Leonardo's  contribution  which  decided  Ver- 
rocchio to  give  up  the  brush.  Among  the  thoughts  of 
Leonardo  is  one  which  comes  to  mind  with  peculiar  force 
before  this  work  when  we  know  its  story :  "  Poor  is  the 
pupil  who  does  not  suipass  his  master  ". 

The  second  Sala  di  Botticelli  has  not  the  value  of  the 
first.  It  has  magnificent  examples  of  Botticelli's  sacred 
work,  but  the  other  pictures  are  not  the  equal  of  those  in 


the  other  rooms.  Chief  of  the  Botticellis  is  No.  85,  "The 
Virgin  and  Child  with  divers  Saints,"  in  which  there  ai-e 
certain  annoying  and  restless  elements.  One  feels  that  in 
the  accessories — the  flooring,  the  curtains,  and  gilt — the 
painter  was  wasting  his  time,  while  the  Child  is  too  big. 
Botticelli  was  seldom  too  happy  with  his  babies.  But  the 
face  of  the  Saint  in  green  and  blue  on  the  left  is  most 
exquisitely  painted,  and  the  Virgin  has  rather  less  troubled 
beauty  than  usual.  The  whole  effect  is  not  quite  spiritual, 
and  the  symbolism  of  the  nails  and  the  crown  of  thorns 
held  up  for  the  Child  to  see  is  rather  too  cruel  and  obvious. 
I  like  better  the  smaller  picture  with  the  same  title — No. 
88 — in  which  the  Saints  at  each  side  are  wholly  beautiful 
in  Botticelli's  wistful  way,  and  the  painting  of  their  heads 
and  head-dresses  is  so  perfect  as  to  fill  one  with  a  kind  of 
despair.  But  taken  altogether  one  must  consider  Bot- 
ticelli's triumph  in  the  Accademia  to  be  pagan  rather  than 

No.  8,  called  officially  School  of  Verrocehio>  and  by  one 
firm  of  photographers  Botticini,  and  by  another  Botti- 
celli, is  a  fine  free  thing,  low  in  colour,  with  a  quiet  land- 
scape, and  is  altogether  a  delight.  It  represents  Tobias  and 
the  three  angels,  and  Raphael  moves  nobly,  although 
not  with  quite  such  a  step  as  the  radiant  figure  in  a  some- 
what similar  picture  in  our  own  National  Gallery — No.  781 
— which,  once  confidently  given  to  Verrocchio,  is  now  attri- 
buted to  Botticini ;  while  our  No.  296,  which  the  visitor 
from  Florence  on  returning  to  London  should  hasten  to  ex- 
amine, is  no  longer  Verrocchio  but  School  of  Verrocchio. 
When  we  think  of  these  attributions  and  then  look  at  No. 
154  in  the  Accademia — another  Tobias  and  the  Angel, 
here  given  to  Botticini — we  have  a  concrete  object  lesson  in 
the  perilous  career  that  awaits  the  art  expert. 


The  other  pictures  here  are  two  sunny  panels  by  Ridolfo 
Ghirlandaio,  high  up,  with  nice  easy  colouring ;  No.  92,  an 
Adoration  of  the  Shepherds  by  Lorenzo  di  Credi,  with  a 
good  landscape  and  all  very  sweet  and  quiet;  No.  98,  a 
Deposition  by  Filippino  Lippi  and  Perugino,  in  col- 
laboration, with  very  few  signs  of  Filippino ;  and  No.  90,  a 
Resun-ection  by  Rafiaellino  del  Garbo,  an  uncommon 
painter  in  Florence ;  the  whole  thing  a  tour  de  force,  but 
not  important. 

And  now  let  us  look  at  the  Angelicos  again. 

Before  leaving  the  Accademia  for  the  last  time,  one 
should  glance  at  the  tapestries  near  the  main  entrance, 
just  for  fun.  That  one  in  which  Adam  names  the  animals 
is  so  delightfully  naive  that  it  ought  to  be  reproduced  as  a 
nursery  wall-paper.  The  creatures  pass  in  review  in  four 
processions,  and  Adam  must  have  had  to  be  uncommonly 
quick  to  make  up  his  mind  first  and  then  rattle  out  their 
resultant  names  in  the  time.  The  main  procession  is  that 
of  the  larger  quadrupeds,  headed  by  the  unicorn  in  single 
glory;  and  the  moment  chosen  by  the  artist  is  that  in  which 
the  elephant,  having  just  heard  his  name  (for  the  first  time) 
and  not  altogether  liking  it,  is  turning  towards  Adam  in 
surprised  remonstrance.  TTie  second  procession  is  of 
reptiles,  led  by  the  snail ;  the  thu-d,  the  smaller  quadrupeds, 
led  by  four  rats,  followed  desperately  close  (but  of  course 
under  the  white  flag)  by  two  cats ;  while  the  fourth — all 
sorts  and  conditions  of  birds — sti'eams  through  the  air. 
The  others  in  this  series  are  all  delightful,  not  the  least 
being  that  in  which  God,  having  finished  His  work,  takes 
Adam's  arm  and  flies  with  him  over  the  earth  to  point  out  its 




The  Certosa — A  Company  of  Undes — The  Cells — Machiavelli — Im- 
pruneta — The  della  Robbias — Pontassieve — Pelage — Milton's  simile— 
Vallombrosa — S.  Gualberto — Prate  and  the  Lippis — The  Grassiria  Albergo 
— An  American  invasion — The  Procession  of  the  Dead  Christ — My  loss. 

EVERY  one  who  merely  visits  Florence  holds  it  a  duty 
to  bring  home  at  least  one  flask  of  the  Val  d'Ema 
liqueur  from  the  Carthusian  monastei-y  four  or  five  miles 
distant  from  the  city,  not  because  that  fiery  distillation  is 
peculiarly  attractive  but  because  the  vessels  which  contain 
it  are  at  once  pretty  decorations  and  evidences  of  travel 
and  culture.  They  can  be  bought  in  Florence  itself,  it  is 
true  (at  a  shop  at  the  corner  of  the  Via  de'  Cen-etani,  close 
to  the  Baptistery),  but  the  Certosa  is  far  too  interesting 
to  miss,  if  one  has  time  to  spare  from  the  city's  own 
treasures.  The  trams  start  from  the  Mercato  Nuovo  and 
come  along  the  Via  dell'  Arcivescovado  to  the  Baptistery, 
and  so  to  the  Porta  Romana  and  out  into  the  hilly  country. 
The  ride  is  dull  and  rather  tiresome,  for  there  is  much 
waiting  at  sidings,  but  the  expedition  becomes  attractive 
immediately  the  tram  is  left.  There  is  then  a  short  walk, 
principally  up  the  long  narrow  approach  to  the  monastery 
gates,  outside  which,  when  I  was  there,  was  sitting  a 
beggar  at  a  stone  table,  waiting  for  the  bowl  of  soup  to 
which  all  who  ask  are  entitled. 



Passing  within  the  coui-tyard  you  ring  the  bell  on  the 
right  and  enter  the  waiting  hall,  from  which,  in  the  course 
of  time,  when  a  sufficient  party  has  been  gathered,  an  elderly 
monk  in  a  white  robe  leads  you  away.  How  many  monks 
there  may  be,  I  cannot  say  ;  but  of  the  few  of  whom  I  caught 
a  glimpse,  all  were  alike  in  the  possession  of  white  beards, 
and  all  suggested  uncles  in  fancy  dress.  Ours  spoke  good 
French  and  was  clearly  a  man  of  parts.  Lulled  by  his 
soothing  descriptions  I  passed  in  a  kind  of  dream  through 
this  ancient  abode  of  peace. 

The  Certosa  dates  from  1341  and  was  built  and  endowed 
by  a  wealthy  merchant  named  Niccolo  Acciaioli,  after 
whom  the  Lungarno  Acciaioli  is  named.  The  members 
of  the  family  are  still  buried  here,  certain  of  the  tomb- 
stones bearing  dates  of  the  present  century.  To-day  it  is 
little  but  a  show  place,  the  cells  of  the  monks  being  mostly 
empty  and  the  sale  of  the  liqueur  its  principal  reason  for 
existence.  But  the  monks  who  are  left  take  a  pride  in 
their  church,  which  is  attributed  to  Orcagna,  and  its  pos- 
sessions, among  which  come  first  the  relief  monuments  of 
early  Acciaioh  in  the  floor  of  one  of  the  chapels — the 
founder's  being  perhaps  also  the  work  of  Orcagna,  while 
that  of  his  son  Lorenzo,  who  died  in  1353,  is  attributed 
by  our  cicerone  to  Donatello,  but  by  others  to  an  unknown 
hand.  It  is  certainly  very  beautiful.  These  tombs  are  the 
very  reverse  of  those  which  we  saw  in  S.  Croce ;  for  those 
bear  the  obliterating  traces  of  centuries  of  footsteps,  so  that 
some  are  nearly  flat  with  the  stones,  whereas  these  have 
been  railed  ofi'  for  ever  and  have  lost  nothing.  The  other 
famous  Certosa  tomb  is  that  of  Cardinal  Angelo  Acciaioli, 
which,  once  given  to  Donatello,  is  now  sometimes  attri- 
buted to  Giuliano  di  Sangallo  and  sometimes  to  his  son 


The  Certosa  has  a  few  good  pictures,  but  it  is  as  a 
monastery  that  it  is  most  interesting :  as  one  of  the  myriad 
lonely  convents  of  Italy,  which  one  sees  so  constantly  from 
the  train,  pei'ched  among  the  Apennines,  and  did  not  expect 
ever  to  enter.  The  cloistei-s  which  surround  the  garden, 
in  the  centre  of  which  is  a  well,  and  beneath  which  is  the 
distillery,  are  very  memorable,  not  only  for  their  beauty 
but  for  the  sixty  and  more  medallions  of  saints  and  evan- 
gelists all  round  it  by  Giovanni  della  Robbia.  Here  the 
monks  have  sunned  themselves,  and  here  been  buried,  these 
five  and  a  half  centuries.  One  suite  of  rooms  is  shown,  with 
its  own  little  private  garden  and  no  striking  discomfort 
except  the  hole  in  the  wall  by  the  bed,  through  which  the 
sleeper  is  awakened.  From  its  balcony  one  sees  the  Ema 
far  below  and  hears  the  roar  of  a  weir,  and  away  in  the  dis- 
tance is  Florence  with  the  Duomo  and  a  third  of  Giotto's 
Campanile  visible  above  the  intervening  hills. 

Having  shown  you  all  the  sights  the  monk  leads  you 
again  to  the  enti'ance  hall  and  bids  you  good-bye,  with 
murmurs  of  surprise  and  a  hint  of  reproach  on  discovering 
a  coin  in  his  hand,  for  which,  however,  none  the  less,  he 
manages  in  the  recesses  of  his  robe  to  find  a  place  ;  and  you 
aie  then  directed  to  the  room  where  the  liqueur,  together 
with  sweets  and  picture  post-cards,  is  sold  by  another 
monk,  assisted  by  a  lay  attendant,  and  the  visit  to  the 
Certosa  is  over. 

The  tram  that  passes  the  Certosa  continues  along  the 
valley  by  the  Greve  (a  river  which  rises  in  Chianti)  to 
S.  Casciano,  where  there  is  a  point  of  interest  in  the 
house  to  which  Machiavelli  retired  in  151S,  to  give 
himself  to  literature  and  to  live  that  wonderful  double 
life — a  peasant  loafer  by  day  in  the  fields  and  the 
village  inn,  and  at  night,  dressed  in  his  noblest  clothes, 


the  cold,  sagacious  mentor  of  the  rulers  of  mankind.  But 
at  S.  Casciano  I  did  not  stop. 

And  farther  still  one  comes  to  the  village  of  Impruneta, 
after  climbing  higher  and  higher,  with  lovely  calm  valleys 
on  either  side  coloured  by  silver  olive  gi-oves  and  vivid 
wheat  and  maize,  and  studded  with  white  villas  and  vil- 
lages and  church  towers.  On  the  road  every  woman  in 
every  doorway  plaits  straw  with  rapid  fingers  just  as  if  we 
were  in  Bedfordshire.  Impruneta  is  famous  for  its  new 
terra-cotta  vessels  and  its  ancient  della  Robbias.  For  in 
the  church  is  some  of  Luca's  most  exquisite  work — an  altar- 
piece  with  a  frieze  of  aerial  angels  under  it,  and  a  stately 
white  saint  on  either  side,  and  the  loveliest  decorated 
columns  imaginable;  while  in  an  adjoining  chapel  is  a 
Christ  crucified  mourned  by  the  most  dignified  and  melan- 
choly of  Magdalens.  Andrea  della  Robbia  is  here  too, 
and  hei-e  also  is  a  richly  designed  cantoria  by  Mino  da 
Fiesole.  The  village  is  not  in  the  regular  programme  of 
visitors,  and  Baedeker  ignores  it ;  hence  perhaps  the  excit- 
ment  which  an  arrival  from  Florence  causes,  for  the  children 
turn  out  in  battalions.  The  church  is  very  dirty,  and  so 
indeed  is  everything  else;  but  no  amount  of  grime  can 
disguise  the  charm  of  the  cloisters. 

The  Certosa  is  a  mere  half-hour  from  Florence,  Impru- 
neta an  hour  and  a  half ;  but  Vallombrosa  asks  a  long  day. 
One  can  go  by  rail,  changing  at  Sant'  Ellero  into  the 
expensive  rack-and-pinion  car  which  climbs  through  the 
vineyards  to  a  point  near  the  summit,  and  has,  since  it  was 
opened,  brought  to  the  mountain  so  many  new  residents, 
whose  little  villas  cling  to  the  western  slopes  among  the 
lizards,  and,  in  summer,  are  smitten  unbearably  by  the  sun. 
But  the  best  way  to  visit  the  monastery  and  the  gi-oves 
is  by  road.     A  motor-car  no  doubt  makes  little  of  the 


journey ;  but  a  carriage  and  pair  such  as  I  chartered  at 
Florence  for  forty-five  lire  has  to  be  away  before  seven, 
and,  allowing  three  houi-s  on  the  top,  is  not  back  again 
until  the  same  hour  in  the  evening ;  and  this,  the  ancient 
way,  with  the  beat  of  eight  hoofs  in  one's  ears,  is  the  right 

For  several  miles  the  road  and  the  river — the  Arno — run 
side  by  side — and  the  railway  close  by  too — through  vener- 
able villages  whose  inhabitants  derive  their  living  either 
from  the  soil  or  the  water,  and  amid  vineyards  all  the  time. 
Here  and  there  a  white  villa  is  seen,  but  for  the  most  part 
this  is  peasants'  district :  one  such  villa  on  the  left,  before 
Pontassieve,  having  about  it,  and  on  each  side  of  its  drive, 
such  cypresses  as  one  seldom  sees  and  only  Gozzoli  or  Mr. 
Sargent  could  rightly  paint,  each  in  his  own  style.  Not  far 
beyond,  in  a  scrap  of  meadow  by  the  road,  Sat  a  girl  knitting 
in  the  morning  sun — with  a  placid  glance  at  us  as  we  rat- 
tled by  ;  and  ten  hours  later,  when  we  rattled  past  again, 
there  she  still  was,  still  knitting,  in  the  evening  sun,  and 
again  her  quiet  eyes  were  just  raised  and  dropped. 

At  Pontassieve  we  stopped  a  while  for  coffee  at  an  inn 
at  the  corner  of  the  square  of  pollarded  limes,  and  while  it 
was  preparing  watched  the  little  cmmbling  town  at  work, 
particularly  the  cooper  opposite,  who  was  finishing  a  mas- 
sive cask  within  whose  recesses  good  Chianti  is  doubtless 
now  maturing ;  and  then  on  the  white  road  again,  to  the 
turning,  a  mile  farther  on,  to  the  left,  where  one  bids  the 
Arno  farewell  till  the  late  afternoon.  Steady  climbing 
now,  and  then  a  turn  to  the  right  and  we  see  Pelago  before 
us,  perched  on  its  crags,  and  by  and  by  come  to  it — a  tiny 
town,  with  a  clean  and  alluring  inn,  very  different  from 
the  squalor  of  Pontassieve  :  famous  in  art  and  particularly 
Florentine  art  as  being  the  bu'thplace  of  Lox'enzo  Ghiberti, 


who  made  the  Baptistery  doors.  From  Pelago  the  road 
descends  with  extreme  steepness  to  a  brook  in  a  rocky 
valley,  at  a  bridge  over  which  the  real  climb  begins,  to  go 
steadily  on  (save  for  another  swift  drop  before  Tosi)  until 
Vallombrosa  is  reached,  winding  through  woods  all  the  way, 
chiefly  chestnut — those  woods  which  gave  Milton,  who  was 
here  in  1638,  his  famous  simile.^  The  heat  was  now  becom- 
ing intense  (it  was  mid-September)  and  the  horses  were 
suffering,  and  most  of  this  last  stage  was  done  at  walking 
pace ;  but  such  was  the  exhilaration  of  the  air,  such  the 
delight  of  the  aromas  which  the  breeze  continually 
wafted  from  the  woods,  now  sweet,  now  pungent,  and 
always  I'efreshing,  that  one  felt  no  fatigue  even  though 
walking  too.  And  so  at  last  the  monastei-y,  and  what  was 
at  that  moment  better  than  anything,  lunch. 

The  beauty  and  joy  of  Vallombrosa,  I  may  say  at  once, 
are  Nature's,  not  man's.  The  monastery,  which  is  now  a 
Government  school  of  forestry,  is  ugly  and  unkempt ;  the 
hotel  is  unattractive ;  the  few  people  one  meets  want  to 
sell  something  or  take  you  for  a  drive.  But  in  an  instant 
in  any  dii'ection  one  can  be  in  the  woods — and  at  this  level 
they  are  pine  woods,  soft  underfoot  and  richly  perfumed — 
and  a  quarter  of  an  hour's  walking  brings  the  view.  It  is 
then  that  you  realize  you  are   on   a   mountain  indeed. 

1 "  Thick  as  leaves  in  Vallombrosa  "  has  come  to  be  the  form  of  words 

as  most  people  quote  them.    But  Milton  wrote  ("  Paradise  Lost,"  Book  I. 

300-304) : — 

"  He  called 

His  legions,  angel-forms,  who  lay  entranced 

Thick  as  autumnal  leaves  that  strew  the  brooks 

In  Vallombrosa  where  the  Etrurian  shades, 

High  over-arched,  embower." 

Wordsworth,  by  the  way,  when   he  visited  Vallombrosa  with   Crabb 

Robinson  in   1837,  wrote  an  inferior  poem  there,  in  a  rather   common 

metre,  in  honour  of  Milton's  association  with  it. 


Florence  is  to  the  north-west  in  the  long  Arno  valley, 
which  is  here  precipitous  and  nan-ow.  The  river  is  far 
below — if  you  slipped  you  would  slide  into  it — fed  by 
tumbling  Apennine  streams  from  both  walls.  The  top  of 
the  mountain  is  heathery  like  Scotland,  and  open ;  but  not 
long  will  it  be  so,  for  everywhere  are  the  fenced  parallelo- 
grams which  indicate  that  a  villa  is  to  be  erected.  Nothing, 
however,  can  change  the  mountain  air  or  the  glory  of  the 
surrounding  heights. 

Another  view,  unbroken  by  villas  but  including  the 
monastery  and  the  Foresters'  Hotel  in  the  immediate  fore- 
ground, and  extending  as  far  as  Florence  itself  (on  suitable 
days),  is  obtained  from  II  Paradisino,  a  white  building  on 
a  ledge  which  one  sees  from  the  hotel  above  the  monastery. 
But  that  is  not  by  any  means  the  top.  The  view  covers 
much  of  the  way  by  which  we  came  hither. 

Of  the  monastery  of  Vallombrosa  we  have  had  foreshadow- 
ings  in  Florence.  We  saw  at  the  Accademia  two  exquisite 
portraits  by  Fra  Bartolommeo  of  Vallombrosan  monks. 
We  saw  at  the  Bargello  the  remains  of  a  wonderful  frieze 
by  Benedetto  da  Rovezzano  for  the  tomb  of  the  founder  of 
the  order,  S.  Giovanni  Gualberto ;  we  shall  see  at  S.  Mini- 
ato  scenes  in  the  saint's  life  on  the  site  of  the  ancient  chapel 
where  the  crucifix  bent  and  blessed  him.  As  the  head  of 
the  monastery  Gualberto  was  famous  for  the  severity  and 
thoroughness  of  his  discipline.  But  though  a  martinet  as 
an  abbot,  personally  he  was  humble  and  mild.  His  advice 
on  all  kinds  of  matters  is  said  to  have  been  invited  even  by 
kings  and  popes.  He  invented  the  system  of  lay  brothers 
to  help  with  the  domestic  work  of  the  convent ;  and  after 
a  life  of  holiness,  which  comprised  several  miracles,  he  died 
in  1073  and  was  subsequently  canonized. 

The  monastery,  as  I  have  said,  is  now  secularized,  save 


for  the  chapel,  where  three  resident  monks  perform  sei-vice. 
One  may  wander  through  its  rooms  and  see  in  the  refectory, 
beneath  portraits  of  famous  brothers,  the  tables  now  laid 
for  young  foresters.  The  museum  of  forestry  is  interesting 
to  those  interested  in  museums  of  forestry. 

It  was  to  the  monastery  at  Vallombrosa  that  the  Brown- 
ings travelled  in  1848  when  Mrs.  Browning  was  ill.  But 
the  abbot  could  not  break  the  rules  in  regard  to  women, 
and  after  five  days  they  had  to  return  to  Florence.  Brown- 
ing used  to  play  the  organ  in  the  chapel,  as,  it  is  said,  Milton 
had  done  two  centtiries  earlier. 

At  such  a  height  and  with  only  a  short  season  the  hotel 
proprietors  must  do  what  they  can,  and  prices  do  not  rule 
low.  A  departing  American  was  eyeing  his  bill  with  a 
rueful  glance  as  we  were  leaving.  "  Milton  had  it  wrong," 
he  said  to  me  (with  the  freemasonry  of  the  plucked,  for  I 
knew  him  not),  "  what  he  meant  was,  '  thick  as  thieves '." 

We  retui-ned  by  way  of  Sant'  Ellero,  the  gallant  horses 
trotting  steadily  down  the  hill,  and  then  beside  the  Amo 
once  more  all  the  way  to  Florence.  It  chanced  to  be  a 
great  day  in  the  city — September  20th,  the  annivei-sary  of 
the  final  defeat  of  papal  temporal  power,  in  1870 — which 
we  were  not  sorry  to  have  missed,  the  fii-st  tidings  coming 
to  us  from  the  beautiful  tower  of  the  Palazzo  Vecchio  which 
in  honour  of  the  occasion  had  been  picked  out  with  fairy 

Among  the  excursions  which  I  think  ought  to  be  made 
if  one  is  in  Florence  for  a  justifying  length  of  time  is  a 
visit  to  Prato.  This  ancient  town  one  should  see  for 
several  things :  for  its  age  and  for  its  walls ;  for  its  gieat 
piazza  (with  a  pile  of  vividly  dyed  yarn  in  the  midst)  sur- 
rounded by  arches  under  which  coppersmiths  hammer  all 
day    at  shining  rotund  vessels,  while  their   wives  plait 


straw;  for  Filippino  Lippi's  exquisite  Madonna  in  a 
little  mural  shrine  at  the  narrow  end  of  the  piazza,  which 
a  woman  (fetched  by  a  crowd  of  ragged  boys)  will  unlock 
for  threepence;  and  for  the  cathedral,  with  Filippino's 
dissolute  father's  frescoes  in  it,  the  Salome  being  one  of 
the  most  interesting  p  re-Botticelli  scenes  in  Italian  art.  If 
only  it  had  its  colour  what  a  wonder  of  lightness  and 
beauty  this  still  would  be  !  But  probably  most  people  are 
attracted  to  Prato  chiefly  by  Donatello  and  Michelozzo's 
outdoor  pulpit,  the  frieze  of  which  is  a  kind  of  prentice 
work  for  the  famous  cantoria  in  the  museum  of  the  cathedral 
at  Florence,  with  j  ust  such  wanton  boys  dancing  round  it. 
On  Good  Friday  evening  in  the  lovely  dying  April  light 
I  paid  thirty  centimes  to  be  taken  by  tram  to  Grassina 
to  see  the  famous  procession  of  the  Gesu  Morto.  The 
number  of  people  on  the  same  errand  having  thrown  out 
the  tram  service,  we  had  very  long  waits,  while  the  road  was 
thronged  with  other  vehicles;  and  the  result  was  I  was 
tired  enough — having  been  standing  all  the  way — when 
Grassina  was  reached,  for  festivals  six  miles  out  of  Florence 
at  seven  in  the  evening  disarrange  good  habits.  But  a  few 
pence  spent  in  the  albergo  on  bread  and  cheese  and  wine 
soon  restored  me.  A  queer  cavern  of  a  place,  this  inn, 
with  rough  tables,  rows  and  rows  of  wine  flasks,  and  an 
open  fire  behind  the  bar,  tended  by  an  old  woman,  from 
which  eveiything  good  to  eat  proceeded  rapidly  without 
dismay — roast  chicken  and  fish  in  particular.  A  strapping 
girl  with  high  cheek  bones  and  a  broad  dark  comely  face 
washed  plates  and  glasses  assiduously,  and  two  waiters,  with 
eyes  as  near  together  as  monkeys',  served  the  customers 
with  bewildering  intelligence.  It  was  the  sort  of  inn  that 
in  England  would  throw  up  its  hands  if  you  asked  even 
for  cold  beef 


The  piazza  of  Grassina,  which,  although  merely  a  village, 
is  entei-prising  enough  to  have  a  cinematoscope  hall,  was 
full  of  stalls  given  chiefly  to  the  preparation  and  sale  of 
cake  like  the  Dutch  wafelen,  and  among  the  stalls  were 
conjurors,  cheap-jacks,  singers,  and  dice  throwers;  while 
every  moment  brought  its  fresh  motor-car  or  carriage  load, 
nearly  all  speaking  English  with  a  nasal  twang.  Mean- 
while every  one  shouted,  the  naphtha  flared,  the  drums 
beat,  the  horses  champed.  The  street  was  full  too,  chiefly 
of  peasants,  but  among  them  myriad  i-esolute  American 
virgins,  in  motor  veils,  whom  nothing  can  ever  surprise ; 
a  few  American  men,  sceptical,  as  ever,  of  anything  ever 
happening ;  here  and  there  a  diffident  Englishwoman  and 
Englishman,  more  in  the  background,  but  destined  in  the 
end  to  see  all.  But  what  I  chiefly  noticed  was  the  native 
girls,  with  their  proud  bosoms  carried  high  and  nothing 
on  their  heads.  They  at  any  rate  know  their  own  future. 
No  rushing  over  the  globe  for  them,  but  the  simple  natural 
home  life  and  children. 

In  the  gloom  the  younger  girls  in  white  muslin  were 
like  pretty  ghosts,  each  followed  by  a  solicitous  mother 
giving  a  touch  here  and  a  touch  there — mothers  who  once 
wore  muslin  too,  will  wear  it  no  more,  and  are  now  happy 
in  pride  in  their  daughters.  And  very  httle  girls  too — 
mere  tots — wearing  wings,  who  very  soon  were  to  join  the 
procession  as  angels. 

And  all  the  while  the  darkness  was  growing,  and  on  the 
hill  where  the  church  stands  lights  were  beginning  to  move 
about,  in  that  mysterious  way  which  torches  have  when  a 
procession  is  being  mobilized,  while  all  the  villas  on  the 
hills  around  had  their  rows  of  candles. 

And  then  the  shifting  flames  came  gi-adually  into  a  mass 
and  took  a  steady  upward  progress,  and  the  melancholy 


strains  of  an  ancient  ecclesiastical  lamentation  reached  our 
listening  ears.  As  the  lights  drew  nearer  I  left  the  bank 
where  all  the  Mamies  and  Sadies  with  their  Mommas  were 
stationed  and  walked  down  into  the  river  valley  to  meet 
the  vanguard;  On  the  bridge  I  found  a  little  band  of 
Roman  soldiers  on  horseback,  without  stirrups,  and  had  a 
few  words  with  one  of  them  as  to  his  anachronistic  cigar- 
ette, and  then  the  first  torches  arrived,  carried  by  proud 
little  boys  in  red  ;  and  after  the  torches  the  little  girls  in 
muslin  veils,  which  were,  however,  for  the  most  part  dis- 
arranged for  the  better  recognition  of  relations  and  even 
more  perhaps  for  recognition  by  relations :  and  very  pretty 
this  recognition  was  on  both  sides.  And  then  the  village 
priests  in  full  canonicals,  looking  a  little  self-conscious ; 
and  after  them  the  dead  Christ  on  a  litter  carried  by  a 
dozen  contadini  who  had  a  good  deal  to  say  to  each  other 
as  they  bore  Him. 

This  was  the  same  dead  Christ  which  had  been  lying  in 
state  in  the  church,  for  the  past  few  days,  to  be  worshipped 
and  kissed  by  the  peasantry.  I  had  seen  a  similar  image 
at  Settignano  the  day  before  and  had  watched  how  the 
men  took  it.  They  began  by  standing  in  groups  in  the 
piazza,  gossipping.  Then  two  or  three  would  break  away 
and  make  for  the  church.  There,  all  among  the  women 
and  children,  half-shyly,  half-defiantly,  they  pecked  at  the 
plaster  flesh  and  returned  to  resume  the  conversation  in  the 
piazza  with  a  new  serenity  and  confidence  in  their  hearts. 

After  the  dead  Christ  came  a  triumphal  car  of  the  very 
little  girls  with  wings,  signifying  I  know  not  what,  but 
intensely  satisfying  to  the  onlookei^s.  One  little  wet-nosed 
cherub  I  patted,  so  chubby  and  innocent  she  was ;  and 
Heaven  send  that  the  impulse  profited  me  !  This  car  was 
drawn  by  an  ancient  white  horse,  amiable  and  tractable  as  a 


saint,  but  as  bewildered  as  I  as  to  the  meaning  of  the  whole 
strange  business.  After  the  car  of  angels  a  stalwart  body 
of  white-vestmented  singers,  sturdy  fellows  with  black 
moustaches  who  had  been  all  day  among  the  vines,  or 
steering  placid  white  oxen  through  the  furrows,  and  were 
now  lifting  their  voices  in  a  miserere.  And  after  them 
the  painted  plaster  Virgin,  carried  as  upright  as  possible, 
and  then  more  torches  and  the  wailing  band  ;  and  after 
the  band  another  guard  of  Roman  soldiei-s. 

Such  was  the  Grassina  procession.  It  passed  slowly  and 
solemnly  through  the  town  from  the  hill  and  up  the  hill 
again  ;  and  not  soon  shall  I  forget  the  mournfiilness  of  the 
music,  which  nothing  of  tawdriness  in  the  constituents 
of  the  procession  itself  could  rid  of  impressiveness  and 
beauty.  One  thing  is  certain — all  processions,  by  day  or 
night,  should  first  descend  a  hill  and  then  ascend  one.  All 
should  walk  to  melancholy  strains.  Indeed,  a  joyful  pro- 
cession becomes  an  impossible  thought  after  this. 

And  then  I  sank  luxuriously  into  a  comer  seat  in  the 
waiting  tram,  and,  seeking  for  the  return  journey's  thirty 
centimes,  found  that  during  the  proceedings  my  purse  had 
been  stolen. 



Andrea  del  Castagno — "  The  Last  Supper  " — The  stolen  Madonna — 
Fra  Angelico's  irescoes — "  Little  Antony  " — The  good  archbishop — The 
Buonuomini — Savonarola — The  death  of  Lorenzo  the  Magnificent — Pope 
Alexander  VI — The  Ordeal  by  Fire— The  execution — The  S.  Marco  cells 
— The  cloister  frescoes — Ghirlandaio's  "  Last  Supper  '' — Relics  of  old 
Florence — Pico  and  Politian — Piero  di  Cosimo — Andrea  del  Sarto. 

FROM  the  Accademia  it  is  but  a  step  to  S.  Mai'co,  across 
the  Piazza,  but  it  is  well  first  to  go  a  little  beyond 
that  in  order  to  see  a  certain  painting  which  both  chrono- 
logically and  as  an  influence  comes  before  a  painting  that 
we  shall  find  in  the  Museo  S.  Marco.  We  therefore  cross 
the  Piazza  S.  Marco  to  the  Via  d'  AiTazzieri,  which  leads 
into  the  Via  27  Aprile,^  where  at  a  door  on  the  left,  marked 
A,  is  an  ancient  refectory,  preserved  as  a  picture  gallery  : 
the  Cenacolo  di  S.  Apollonia,  all  that  is  kept  sacred  of 
the  monastery  of  S.  Apollonia,  now  a  military  establish- 
ment. This  room  is  important  to  students  of  art  in  con- 
taining so  much  work  of  Andrea  del  Castagno  (1390-1457), 
to  whom  Vasari  gives  so  black  a  character.  The  portrait 
frescoes  are  from  the  Villa  Pandolfini  (previously  Carducci), 
and  among  them  are  Boccaccio,  Petrarch,  and  Dante — who 
is  here  rather  less  ascetic  than  usual — none  of  whom  the 
painter  could  have  seen.   There  is  also  a  very  charming  little 

'■  27  April,  1859,  the  day  that  the  war  with  Austria  was  proclaimed. 



cupid  can-ying  a  huge  peacock  plume.  But  "The  Last 
Supper  "  is  the  glory  of  the  room.  This  work,  which  be- 
longs to  the  middle  of  the  fifteenth  century,  is  interesting  as 
a  real  effort  at  psychology,  Leonardo  makes  Judas  leave 
his  seat  to  ask  if  it  is  he  that  is  meant — that  being  the 
dramatic  moment  chosen  by  this  prince  of  painters  : 
Castagno  calls  attention  to  Judas  as  an  undesirable  member 
of  the  little  band  of  disciples  by  placing  him  apart,  the 
only  one  on  his  side  of  the  table  ;  which  was  avoiding  the 
real  task,  since  naturally  when  one  of  the  company  was 
forced  into  so  sinister  a  position  the  question  would  be 
already  answered.  Castagno  indeed  renders  Judas  so 
obviously  untrustworthy  as  to  make  it  a  surprise  that  he 
ever  was  admitted  among  the  disciples  (or  wished  to  be  one) 
at  all  J  while  Vasari  blandly  suggests  that  he  is  the  very  image 
of  the  painter  himself.  Other  positions  which  later  artists 
converted  into  a  convention  may  also  be  noted  :  John,  for 
example,  is  reclining  on  the  table  in  an  ecstasy  of  affection 
and  fidelity ;  while  the  Florentine  loggia  as  the  scene  of 
the  meal  was  often  reproduced  later. 

Andrea  del  Castagno  began  life  as  a  farm  lad,  but  was 
educated  as  an  artist  at  the  cost  of  one  of  the  less  notable 
Medici.  He  had  a  vigorous  way  with  his  brush,  as  we  see 
here  and  have  seen  elsewhere.  In  the  Duomo,  for  example, 
we  saw  his  equestrian  portrait  of  Niccolo  da  Tolentino,  a 
companion  to  Uccello's  Hawkwood.  When  the  Albizzi 
and  Peruzzi  intrigues  which  had  led  to  the  banishment  of 
Cosimo  de'  Medici  came  to  their  final  frustration  with  the 
triumphant  return  of  Cosimo,  it  was  Andrea  who  was  com- 
missioned by  the  Signoria  to  paint  for  the  outside  of  the 
Bargello  a  picture  of  the  leaders  of  the  insurrection,  upside 
down.  Vasari  is  less  to  be  trusted  in  his  dates  and  facts 
in  hi?  memoir  of  Andrea  del  Castagno  than  anywhere  else ; 

256  S.  MARCO 

for  he  states  that  he  commemorated  the  failure  of  the 
Pazzi  Conspii'acy  (which  occurred  twenty  years  after  his 
death),  and  accuses  him  not  only  of  murdering  his  fellow- 
painter  Domenico  Veneziano  but  confessing  to  the  crime ; 
the  best  answer  to  which  allegation  is  that  Domenico 
survived  Andrea  by  four  yeai-s. 

We  may  now  return  to  S.  Marco.  The  convent  as  we 
now  see  it  was  built  by  Michelozzo,  Donatello's  friend  and 
partner  and  the  friend  also  of  Cosimo  de'  Medici,  at  whose 
cost  he  worked  here,  Antonino,  the  saintly  head  of  the 
monastery,  having  suggested  to  Cosimo  that  he  should 
apply  some  of  his  wealth,  not  always  too  nicely  obtained, 
to  the  Lord,  Cosimo  began  literally  to  squander  money  on 
S.  Marco,  dividing  his  affection  between  S.  Lorenzo,  which 
he  completed  upon  the  lines  laid  down  by  his  father,  and 
this  Dominican  monastery,  where  he  even  had  a  cell 
reserved  for  his  own  use,  with  a  bedroom  in  addition, 
whither  he  might  now  and  again  retire  for  spiritual 
refreshment  and  quiet. 

It  was  at  S.  Marco  that  Cosimo  kept  the  MSS.  which 
he  was  constantly  collecting,  and  which  now,  after  curious 
vicissitudes,  are  lodged  in  Michelangelo's  library  at  S. 
Lorenzo;  and  on  his  death  he  left  them  to  the  monks. 
Cosimo's  librarian  was  Tommaso  Parenticelli,  a  little  busy 
man,  who,  to  the  general  astonishment,  on  the  death  of 
Eugenius  IV  became  Pope  and  took  the  name  of  Nicholas 
V.  His  energies  as  Pontiff  went  rather  towards  learning 
and  art  than  anything  else :  he  laid  the  foundations  of  the 
Vatican  library,  on  the  model  of  Cosimo's,  and  persuaded 
Fra  Angelico  to  Rome  to  paint  Vatican  frescoes. 

The  magnets  which  draw  every  one  who  visits  Florence 
to  S.  Marco  are  first  Fra  Angelico,  and  secondly  Savonarola, 
or  first  Savonarola,  and  secondly  Fra  Angelico,  according 

I'HK    \'ISIOX    OF    .^.     llKKNAkD 


as  one  is  constituted.  Fra  Angelico,  at  Cosimo's  desire 
and  cost,  came  from  Fiesole  to  paint  here  ;  while  Girolamo 
Savonarola,  forced  to  leave  Ferrara  during  tTbe  war,  entered 
these  walls  in  1482.  Fra  Angelico  in  his  single  crucifixion 
picture  in  the  first  cloisters  and  in  his  great  scene  of  the 
Mount  of  Olives  in  the  chapter  house  shows  himself  less 
incapable  of  depicting  unhappiness  than  we  have  yet  seen 
him  ;  biit  the  most  memorable  of  the  ground-floor  frescoes 
is  the  symbol  of  hospitality  over  the  door  of  the  wayfarers' 
room,  where  Christ  is  being  welcomed  by  two  Dominicans 
in  the  way  that  Dominicans  (as  conti'asted  with  scoundrelly 
Franciscans)  would  of  course  welcome  Him.  In  this 
Ospizio  are  three  reliquaries  which  Fra  Angelico  painted 
for  S.  Maria  Novella,  now  preserved  here  in  a  glass  case. 
They  represent  the  Madonna  della  Stella,  the  Corona- 
tion of  the  Virgin,  and  the  Adoration  of  the  Magi. 
All  are  in  Angelico's  happiest  manner,  with  plenty  of 
gold  ;  and  the  predella  of  the  Coronation  is  the  prettiest 
thing  possible,  with  its  blue  saints  gathered  about  a  blue 
Mary  and  Joseph,  who  bend  over  the  Baby. 

The  Madonna  della  Stella  is  the  picture  which  was  stolen 
in  1911,  but  quickly  recovered.  It  is  part  of  the  strange 
complexity  of  this  world  that  it  should  equally  contain 
artists  such  as  Fra  Angelico  and  thieves  such  as  those  who 
planned  and  carried  out  this  robbery  :  nominally  custodians 
of  the  museum.  To  repeat  one  of  Vasari's  sentences : 
"  Some  say  that  he  never  took  up  his  brush  without  first 
making  a  prayer ".  .  .  . 

The  "Peter  "  with  his  finger  to  his  lips,  over  the  sacristy, 
is  reminding  the  monks  that  that  room  is  vowed  to 
silence.  In  the  chapter  house  is  the  large  Crucifixion  by 
the  same  gentle  hand,  his  greatest  work  in  Florence,  and  very 
fine  and  true  in  character.  Beneath  it  are  portraits  of 

268  S.  MARCO 

seventeen  famous  Dominicans  with  S.  Dominic  in  the 
midst.  Note  the  girl  with  the  scroll  in  the  right — how 
gay  and  light  the  colouring.  Upstairs,  in  the  cells,  and 
pre-eminently  in  the  passage,  where  his  best  known  An- 
nunciation is  to  be  seen,  Angelico  is  at  his  best.  In  each  cell 
is  a  little  fresco  reminding  the  brother  of  the  life  of 
Christ — and  of  those  by  Angelico  it  may  be  said  that 
each  is  as  simple  as  it  can  be  and  as  sweet :  easy  lines, 
easy  colours,  with  the  very  spirit  of  holiness  shining  out. 
I  think  perhaps  that  the  Coronation  of  the  Virgin  in  the 
ninth  cell,  reproduced  in  this  volume,  is  my  favourite, 
as  it  is  of  many  persons;  but  the  Annunciation  in  the 
third,  the  two  Maries  at  the  Sepulchre  in  the  eighth,  and 
the  Child  in  the  Stable  in  the  fifth,  are  ever  memorable 
too.  In  the  cell  set  apart  for  Cosimo  de'  Medici,  No.  38, 
which  the  officials  point  out,  is  an  Adoration  of  the  Magi, 
painted  there  at  Cosimo's  express  wish,  that  he  might  be 
reminded  of  the  humility  proper  to  rulers ;  and  here  we 
get  one  of  the  infrequent  glimpses  of  this  best  and  wisest 
of  the  Medici,  for  a  portrait  of  him  adorns  it,  with  a 
wrong  death-date  on  it. 

Here  also  is  a  sensitive  ten-a-cotta  bust  of  S.  Antonio, 
Cosimo's  friend  and  another  pride  of  the  monastery  :  the 
monk  who  was  also  Archbishop  of  Florence  until  his 
death,  and  whom  we  saw,  in  stone,  in  a  niche  under  the 
Uffizi.  His  cell  was  the  thirty-first  cell,  opposite  the  en- 
trance. This  benign  old  man,  who  has  one  of  the  kindest 
faces  of  his  time,  which  was  often  introduced  into  pictures, 
was  appointed  to  the  see  at  the  suggestion  of  Fra  Angelico, 
to  whom  Pope  Eugenius  (who  consecrated  the  new  S. 
Marco  in  1442  and  occupied  Cosimo  de'  Medici's  cell  on 
his  visit)  had  offered  it ;  but  the  painter  declined  and  put 
forward  Antonio  in  his  stead.      Antonio  Pierozzi,  whose 


destiny  it  was  to  occupy  this  high  post,  to  be  a  confidant 
of  Cosimo  de'  Medici,  and  ultimately,  in  1523,  to  be  enrolled 
among  the  saints,  was  born  at  Florence  in  1389.  Accord- 
ing to  Butler,  from  the  cradle  "  Antonino  "  or  "  Little 
Antony,"  as  the  Florentines  affectionately  called  him,  had 
"no  inclination  but  to  piety,"  and  was  an  enemy  even  as  an 
infant  "  both  to  sloth  and  to  the  amusements  of  children  ". 
As  a  schoolboy  his  only  pleasure  was  to  read  the  lives  of 
the  saints,  converse  with  pious  persons  or  to  pray.  When 
not  at  home  or  at  school  he  was  in  church,  either  kneeling 
or  lying  prostrate  before  a  crucifix,  ''  with  a  perseverance 
that  astonished  everybody  ".  S.  Dominic  himself,  preach- 
ing at  Fiesole,  made  him  a  Dominican,  his  answers  to  an 
examination  of  the  whole  decree  of  Gratian  being  the  de- 
ciding cause,  although  Little  Antony  was  then  but  sixteen. 
As  a  priest  he  was  "  never  seen  at  the  altar  but  bathed  in 
tears  ".  After  being  prior  of  a  number  of  convents  and  a 
counsellor  of  much  weight  in  convocation,  he  was  made 
Archbishop  of  Florence  :  but  was  so  anxious  to  avoid  the 
honour  and  responsibility  that  he  hid  in  the  island  of  Sar- 
dinia. On  being  discovered  he  wrote  a  letter  praying  to 
be  excused  and  watered  it  with  his  tears ;  but  at  last  he 
consented  and  was  consecrated  in  1446. 

As  archbishop  his  life  was  a  model  of  simplicity  and 
solicitude.  He  thought  only  of  his  duties  and  the  well- 
being  of  the*poor.  His  puree  was  open  to  all  in  need,  and 
he  "  often  sold  "  his  single  mule  in  order  to  relieve  some 
necessitous  perspn.  He  gave  up  his  garden  to  the  growth 
of  vegetables  for  the  poor,  and  kept  an  ungrateful  leper 
whose  sores  he  dressed  with  his  own  hands.  He  died  in 
1459  and  was  canonized  in  1623.  His  body  was  still  free 
from  corruption  in  1659,  when  it  was  translated  to  the 
chapel  in  S.  Marco  prepared  for  it  by  the  Salviati. 

260  S.  MARCO 

But  perhaps  the  good  Antonino's  finest  work  was  the 
foundation  of  a  philanthropic  society  of  Florentines  which 
still  carries  on  its  good  work.  Antonino's  sympathy  lay 
in  particular  with  the  reduced  families  of  Florence,  and  it 
was  to  bring  help  secretly  to  them — too  proud  to  beg — 
that  he  called  for  volunteers.  The  society  was  known  in 
the  city  as  the  Buonuomini  (good  men)  of  S.  Martino,  the 
little  church  close  to  Dante's  house,  behind  the  Badia: 
S.  Martin  being  famous  among  saints  for  his  impulsive  yet 
wise  generosity  with  his  cloak. 

The  other  and  most  famous  prior  of  S.  Marco  was 
Savonarola.  Girolamo  Savonarola  was  born  of  noble  family 
at  Ferrara  in  1452,  and  after  a  profound  education,  in 
which  he  concentrated  chiefly  upon  religion  and  philosophy, 
he  entered  the  Dominican  order  at  the  age  of  twenty-two. 
He  first  came  to  S.  Marco  at  the  age  of  thirty  and  preached 
there  in  Lent  in  1482,  but  without  attracting  much  notice. 
When,  however,  he  returned  to  S.  Marco  seven  years  later 
it  was  to  be  instantly  hailed  both  as  a  powerful  preacher 
and  reformer.  His  eloquent  and  burning  declarations 
were  hurled  both  at  Florence  and  Rome:  at  the  apathy 
and  greed  of  the  Church  as  a  whole,  and  at  the  sinfulness 
and  luxury  of  this  city,  while  Lorenzo  the  Magnificent, 
who  was  then  at  the  height  of  his  influence,  surrounded 
by  accomplished  and  witty  hedonists,  and  happiest  when 
adding  to  his  collection  of  pictures,  jewels,  and  sculpture, 
in  particular  did  the  priest  rebuke.  Savonarola  stood  for 
the  spiritual  ideals  and  asceticism  of  the  Baptist,  Christ, 
and  S.  Paul ;  Lorenzo,  in  his  eyes,  made  only  for  sensuality 
and  decadence. 

The  two  men,  however,  recognized  each  other's  genius, 
and  Lorenzo,  with  the  tolerance  which  was  as  much  a  mark 
of  the  first  three  Medici  rulers  as  its  absence  was  notable 


in  most  of  the  later  ones,  rather  encouraged  Savonarola  in 
his  crusade  than  not.  He  visited  hitn  in  the  monastery 
and  did  not  resent  being  kept  waiting ;  and  he  went  to 
hear  him  preach.  In  1492  Lorenzo  died,  sending  for 
Savonarola  on  his  death-bed,  which  was  watched  by  the 
two  closest  of  his  scholarly  friends,  Pico  della  Mirandola 
and  Politian.  The  story  of  what  happened  has  been  vari- 
ously told.  According  to  the  account  of  Politian,  Lorenzo 
met  his  end  with  fortitude,  and  Savonarola  prayed  with 
the  dying  man  and  gave  him  his  blessing;  according  to 
another  account,  Lorenzo  was  called  upon  by  Savonarola,  to 
make  three  undertakings  before  he  died,  and,  Lorenzo 
declining,  Savonarola  left  him  unabsolved.  These  promises 
were  (1)  to  repent  of  all  his  sins,  and  in  particular  of  the 
sack  of  Volterra,  of  the  alleged  theft  of  public  dowry  funds 
and  of  the  implacable  punishment  of  the  Pazzi  conspirators ; 
(2)  to  restore  all  property  of  which  he  had  become  possessed 
by  unjust  means ;  and  (3)  to  give  back  to Florenceher liberty. 
But  the  probabilities  are  in  favour  of  Politian's  account 
being  the  true  one,  and  the  later  story  a  political  invention. 
Lorenzo  dead  and  Piero  his  son  so  incapable,  Savonarola 
came  to  his  own.  He  had  long  foreseen  a  revolution 
following  on  the  death  of  Lorenzo,  and  in  one  of  his  most 
powerful  sermons  he  had  suggested  that  the  "  Flagellum 
Dei  "  to  punish  the  wicked  Florentines  might  be  a  foreign 
invader.  When  therefore  in  1493  the  French  king 
Charles  VIII  arrived  in  Italy  with  his  army,  Savonarola  was 
recognized  not  only  as  a  teacher  but  as  a  prophet ;  and 
when  the  Medici  had  been  again  banished  and  Charles, 
having  asked  too  much,  had  retreated  from  Florence,  the 
Republic  was  remodelled  with  Savonarola  virtually  con- 
trolling its  Great  Council.  For  a  year  or  two  his  power 
was  supreme. 


This  was  the  period  of  the  Piagnoni,  or  Weepers.  The 
citizens  adopted  sober  attire  ;  a  spirit  as  of  England  under 
the  Puritans  prevailed ;  and  Savonarola's  eloquence  so 
far  carried  away  not  only  the  populace  but  many  persons 
of  genius  that  a  bonfire  was  lighted  in  the  middle  of  the 
Piazza  della  Signoria  in  which  costly  dresses,  jewels,  false 
hair  and  studies  fi-om  the  nude  were  destroyed. 

Savonarola,  meanwhile,  was  not  only  chastising  and  re- 
forming Florence,  but  with  fatal  audacity  was  attacking 
with  even  less  mincing  of  words  the  licentiousness  of  the 
Pope.  As  to  the  character  of  Lorenzo  de'  Medici  there 
can  be  two  opinions,  and  indeed  the  historians  of  Florence 
are  widely  divided  in  their  estimates ;  but  of  Roderigo 
Borgia  (Pope  Alexander  VI)  there  is  but  one,  and  Savona- 
rola held  it.  Savonarola  was  excommunicated,  but  refused 
to  obey  the  edict.  Popes,  however,  although  Florence  had 
to  a  large  extent  put  itself  out  of  reach,  have  long  arms, 
and  gi'adually — taking  advantage  of  the  city's  growing  dis- 
content with  piety  and  tears  and  recurring  unquiet,  there 
being  still  a  strong  pro-Medici  party,  and  building  not  a 
little  on  his  knowledge  of  the  Florentine  love  of  change — the 
Pope  gathered  together  sufficient  supportera  of  his  deter- 
mination to  crush  this  too  outspoken  critic  and  humiliate 
his  fellow-citizens. 

Events  helped  the  pontiff.  A  pro-Medici  i  conspiracy 
excited  the  populace  ;  a  second  bonfire  of  vanities  led  to 
rioting,  for  the  Florentines  were  beginning  to  tire  of  virtue ; 
and  the  preaching  of  a  Franciscan  monk  against  Savona- 
rola (and  the  gentle  Fra  Angelico  has  shown  us,  in  the 
Accademia,  how  Franciscans  and  Dominicans  could  hate 
each  other)  brought  matters  to  a  head,  for  he  challenged 
Savonarola  to  an  ordeal  by  fire  in  the  Loggia  de'  Lanzi,  to 
test  which  of  them  spoke  with  the  real  voice  of  God.    A 


Dominican  volunteered  to  make  the  essay  with  a  Franciscan. 
This  ceremony,  anticipated  with  the  liveliest  eagerness  by 
the  Florentines,  was  at  the  last  moment  forbidden,  and 
Savonarola,  who  had  to  bear  the  responsibility  of  such  a 
bitter  disappointment  to  a  pleasure-loving  people,  became  an 
unpopular  figure.  Everything  just  then  was  against  him, 
for  Charles  VIII,  with  whom  he  had  an  understanding  and 
of  whom  the  Pope  was  afraid,  chose  that  moment  to  die. 

The  Pope  drove  home  his  advantage,  and  getting  more 
power  among  individuals  on  the  Council  forced  them  to 
indict  their  firebrand.  No  means  were  spared,  however 
base ;  forgery  and  false  witness  were  as  nothing.  The  sum- 
mons arrived  on  April  8th,  1497,  when  Savonarola  was  at 
S.  Marco.  The  monks,  who  adored  him,  refused  to  let  him 
go,  and  for  a  whole  day  the  convent  was  under  siege.  But 
might,  of  course,  prevailed,  and  Savonarola  was  dragged 
from  the  church  to  the  Palazzo  Vecchio  and  prosecuted  for 
the  offence  of  claiming  to  have  supernatural  power  and 
fomenting  political  disturbance.  He  was  imprisoned  in  a 
tiny  cell  in  the  tower  for  many  days,  and  undei-  constant 
torture  he  no  doubt  uttered  words  which  would  never  have 
passed  his  lips  had  he  been  in  control  of  himself ;  but  we 
may  dismiss,  as  false,  the  evidence  which  makes  them  into 
confessions.  Evidence  there  had  to  be,  and  evidence  natur- 
ally was  forthcoming ;  and  sentence  of  death  was  passed. 

In  that  cell,  when  not  under  torture,  he  managed  to 
write  meditations  on  the  thirteenth  psalm,  "In  Thee,  O 
Lord,  have  I  hoped,"  and  a  little  work  entitled  "A  Rule 
for  Living  a  Christian  Life  ".  Before  the  last  day  he  ad- 
ministered the  Sacrament  to  his  two  companions,  who  were 
to  die  with  him,  with  perfect  composure,  and  the  night 
preceding  they  spent  together  in  prayer  in  the  Great  Hall 
which  he  had  once  dominated. 

264  S.  MARCO 

The  execution  was  on  May  23rd,  1498.  A  gallows  was 
erected  in  the  Piazza  della  Signoria  on  the  spot  now  marked 
by  the  bronze  tablet.  Beneath  the  gallows  was  a  bonfire. 
All  those  members  of  the  Government  who  could  endure 
the  scene  were  present,  either  on  the  platform  of  the 
Palazzo  Vecchio  or  in  the  Loggia  de'  Lanzi.  The  crowd 
filled  the  Piazza.  The  three  monks  went  to  their  death 
unafraid.  When  his  friar's  go\ra  was  taken  from  him, 
Savonarola  said  :  "  Holy  gown,  thou  wert  granted  to  me  by 
God's  grace  and  I  have  ever  kept  thee  unstained.  Now  I 
forsake  thee  not  but  am  bereft  of  thee."  (This  very 
garment  is  in  the  glass  case  in  Savonai'ola's  cell  at  S.  Marco.) 
The  Bishop  replied  hastily :  "I  separate  thee  from  the 
Church  militant  and  triumphant".  "Militant,"  replied 
Savonarola,  "  not  triumphant,  for  that  rests  not  with  you." 
The  monks  were  first  hanged  and  then  burned. 

The  larger  picture  of  the  execution  which  hangs  in 
Savonarola's  cell,  although  interesting  and  up  to  a  point 
credible,  is  of  course  not  right.  The  square  must  have 
been  crowded :  in  fact  we  know  it  was.  The  picture 
has  still  other  claims  on  the  attention,  for  it  shows 
the  Judith  and  Holofernes  as  the  only  statue  befoi-e  the 
Palazzo  Vecchio,  standing  where  David  now  is ;  it  shows  the 
old  ringhiera,  the  Marzocco  (very  inaccurately  drawn), 
and  the  Loggia  de'  Lanzi  empty  of  statuary.  We  have  in 
the  National  Gallery  a  little  portrait  of  Savonarola — No. 
ISOl — \vith  another  representation  of  the  execution  on  the 
back  of  it. 

So  far  as  I  can  understand  Savonarola,  his  failure  was 
due  to  two  causes :  firstly,  his  fatal  blending  of  religion  and 
politics,  and  secondly,  the  conviction  which  his  tempor- 
ary success  with  the  susceptible  Florentines  bred  in  his 
heated  mind  that  he  was  destined  to  carry  all  before  him, 


totally  failing  to  appreciate  the  Florentine  character  with 
all  its  swift  and  deadly  changes  and  love  of  change.  As  I 
see  it,  Savonarola's  special  mission  at  that  time  was  to  be  a 
wandering  preacher,  spreading  the  light  and  exciting  his 
listeners  to  spiritual  revival  in  this  city  and  that,  but  never 
to  be  in  a  position  of  political  power  and  never  to  become 
rooted.  The  peculiar  tragedy  of  his  career  is  that  he  left 
Florence  no  better  than  he  found  it :  indeed,  very  likely 
worse ;  for  in  a  reaction  from  a  spiritual  revival  a  lower 
depth  can  be  reached  than  if  theie  had  been  no  revival  at 
all ;  while  the  visit  of  the  French  army  to  Italy,  for  which 
Savonarola  took  such  credit  to  himself,  merely  ended  in 
disaster  for  Italy,  disease  for  Europe,  and  the  spreading  of 
the  very  Renaissance  spirit  which  he  had  toiled  to  destroy. 
But  when  all  is  said  as  to  his  tragedy,  pereonal  and 
political,  there  remains  this  magnificent  isolated  figure, 
single-minded,  austere  and  self-sacrificing,  in  an  age  of 

For  most  people  "  Romola  "  is  the  medium  thi-ough  which 
Savonarola  is  visualized ;  but  there  he  is  probably  made 
too  theatrical.  Yet  he  must  have  had  something  of  the 
theatre  in  him  even  to  consent  to  the  ordeal  by  fire.  That 
he  was  an  intense  visionary  is  beyond  doubt,  but  a  very 
real  man  too  we  must  believe  when  we  read  of  the  devotion 
of  his  monks  to  his  person,  and  of  his  success  for  a  while 
with  the  shrewd,  worldly  Great  Council. 

Savonarola  had  many  staunch  friends  among  the  artists. 
We  have  seen  Lorenzo  di  Credi  and  Fra  Bartolommeo 
under  his  influence.  After  his  death  Fra  Bartolommeo 
entered  S.  Marco  (his  cell  was  No.  34),  and  di  Credi,  who 
was  noted  for  his  clean  living,  entered  S.  Maria  Nuova. 
Two  of  Luca  della  Robbia's  nephews  were  also  monks 
under   Savonai-ola.     We  have  seen   Fra   Bartolommeo's 

266  S.  MARCO 

portrait  of  Savonarola  in  the  Accademia,  and  there  is 
another  of  him  here.  Cronaca,  who  built  the  Great 
Council's  hall,  survived  Savonarola  only  ten  years,  and 
during  that  time  all  his  stories  were  of  him.  Michelangelo, 
who  was  a  young  man  when  he  heard  him  preach,  read  his 
sermons  to  the  end  of  his  long  life.  But  upon  Botticelli 
his  influence  was  most  powerful,  for  he  turned  that  master's 
hand  from  such  pagan  allegories  as  the  "  Prima  vera  "  and 
the  "  Birth  of  Venus  "  wholly  to  religious  subjects. 

Savonarola  had  three  adjoining  cells.  In  the  first  is  a 
monument  to  him,  his  portrait  by  Fra  Bartolommeo  and 
three  frescoes  by  the  same  hand.  In  the  next  room  is  the 
glass  case  containing  his  robe,  his  hair  shirt,  and  rosary ; 
and  here  also  are  his  desk  and  some  books.  In  the  bedroom 
is  a  crucifixion  by  Fra  Angelico  on  linen.  No  one  know- 
ing Savonarola's  story  can  remain  here  unmoved. 

We  find  Fra  Bartolommeo  again  with  a  pencil  drawing 
of  S.  Antonio  in  that  saint's  cell.  Here  also  is  Antonino's 
death-mask.  The  terra-cotta  bust  of  him  in  Cosimo's  cell 
is  the  most  like  life,  but  there  is  an  excellent  and 
vivacious  bronze  in  the  right  transept  of  S.  Maria  Novella. 

Before  passing  downstairs  again  the  library  should  be 
visited,  that  delightful  assemblage  of  grey  pillars  and  arches. 
Without  its  desks  and  cases  it  would  be  one  of  the  most 
beautiful  rooms  in  Florence.  All  the  books  have  gone, 
save  the  illuminated  music. 

In  the  first  cloisters,  which  are  more  liveable-in  than  the 
ordinary  Florentine  cloisters,  having  a  great  shady  tree 
in  the  midst  with  a  seat  round  it,  and  flowers,  are  the  Fra 
Angelicos  I  have  mentioned.  The  other  painting  is  rather 
theatrical  and  poor.  In  the  refectory  is  a  large  scene  of 
the  miracle  of  the  Providenza,  when  S.  Dominic  and  his 
companions,  during  a  famine,  were  fed  by  two  angels  with 


bread ;  while  at  the  back  S.  Antonio  watches  the  crucified 
Christ.     The  artist  is  Sogliano. 

In  addition  to  Fra  Angelico's  great  crucifixion  fresco 
in  the  chapter  house,  is  a  single  Chi'ist  crucified,  with  a 
monk  mourning,  by  Antonio  Pollaiuolo,  very  like  the  Fra 
Angelico  in  the  cloistei-s ;  but  the  colour  has  left  it,  and 
what  must  have  been  some  noble  cypresses  are  now  ghosts 
dimly  visible.     The  frame  is  superb. 

One  other  painting  we  must  see — the  "  Last  Supper  "  of 
Domenico  Ghirlandaio.  Florence  has  two  "  Last  Suppers  " 
by  this  artist — one  at  the  Ognissanti  and  this.  The  two 
works  are  very  similar  and  have  much  entertaining  interest, 
but  the  debt  which  this  owes  to  Castagno  is  very  obvious  : 
it  is  indeed  Castagno  sweetened.  Although  psychologically 
this  pictuie  is  weak,  or  at  any  rate  not  strong,  it  is  full  of 
pleasant  touches  :  the  supper  really  is  a  supper,  as  it  too 
often  is  not,  with  fruit  and  dishes  and  a  generous  number 
of  flasks ;  the  tablecloth  would  delight  a  good  house- 
keeper ;  a  cat  sits  close  to  Judas,  his  only  companion  ;  a 
peacock  perches  in  a  niche ;  there  are  flowers  on  the  wall, 
and  at  the  back  of  the  charming  loggia  where  the  feast  is 
held  are  luxuriant  trees,  and  fruits,  and  flying  birds.  The 
monks  at  food  in  this  small  refectory  had  compensation 
for  their  silence  in  so  engaging  a  scene.  This  room  also 
contains  a  beautiful  della  Robbia  "  Deposition  ". 

The  little  refectory,  which  is  at  the  foot  of  the  stairs 
leading  to  the  cells,  opens  on  the  second  cloisters,  and  these 
few  visitors  ever  enter.  But  they  are  of  deep  interest  to 
any  one  with  a  passion  for  the  Florence  of  the  great  days, 
for  it  is  hei-e  that  the  municipality  preserves  the  most  re- 
markable relics  of  buildings  that  have  had  to  be  destroyed. 
It  is  in  fact  the  museum  of  the  ancient  city.  Here,  for 
example,  is  that  famous  figure  of  Abundance,  in  grey  stone, 

268  S.  MARCO 

which  Donatello  made  for  the  old  market,  where  the  Piazza 
Vittorio  Emmanuele  now  is,  in  the  midst  of  which  she 
poured  forth  her  fruits  from  a  cornucopia  high  on  a  column 
for  all  to  see.  Opposite  is  a  magnificent  doorway  designed 
by  Donatello  for  the  Pazzi  garden.  Old  windows,  chimney- 
pieces,  fragments  of  cornice,  carved  pillars,  painted  beams, 
coats  of  arms,  are  everywhere. 

In  cell  No.  3  is  a  pretty  little  coloured  relief  of  the 
Virgin  adoring,  which  I  covet,  from  a  tabernacle  in  the 
old  Piazza  di  Brunelleschi.  Here  too  are  relics  of  the 
guild  houses  of  some  of  the  smaller  Arti,  while  perhaps  the 
most  humanly  interesting  thing  of  all  is  the  gi'eart  mourn- 
ful bell  of  S.  Marco  in  Savonarola's  time,  known  as  La 

In  the  church  of  S.  Marco  lie  two  of  the  learned 
men,  friends  of  Lorenzo  de'  Medici,  whose  talk  at  the 
Medici  table  was  one  of  the  youthful  Michelangelo's  edu- 
cative influences,  what  time  he  was  studying  in  the  Medici 
garden,  close  by  :  Angelo  Poliziano  (1454-1494),  the  poet 
and  the  tutor  of  the  three  Medici  boys,  and  the  marvellous 
Pico  della  Mirandola  (1463-1494),  the  enchanted  scholai-. 
Pico  was  one  of  the  most  fascinating  and  comely  figures 
of  his  time.  He  was  bom  in  1463,  the  son  of  tjie  Count 
of  Mirandola,  and  took  early  to  scholarship,  spending  his 
time  among  philosophies  as  other  boys  among  games  or 
S.  Antonio  at  his  devotions,  but  by  no  means  neglecting 
polished  life  too,  for  we  know  him  to  have  been  handsome, 
accomplished,  and  a  knight  in  the  court  of  Venus.  In  1486 
he  challenged  the  whole  world  to  meet  him  in  Rome  and 
dispute  publicly  upon  nine  hundred  theses ;  but  so  many 
of  them  seemed  likely  to  be  pai-adoxes  against  the  true 
faith,  too  brilliantly  defended,  that  the  Pope  forbade  the 
contest.     Pico  dabbled  in  the  black  arts,  wrote  learnedly 

riUU  AJNU  I'UJLl^lAINU  zoy 

(in  his  room  at  the  Badia  of  Fiesole)  ou  the  Mosaic  law, 
was  an  amorous  poet  in  Italian  as  well  as  a  serious  poet  in 
Latin,  and  in  everything  he  did  was  interesting  and  curious, 
steeped  in  Renaissance  culture,  and  inspired  by  the  wish  to 
reconcile  the  past  and  the  present  and  humanize  Christ  and 
the  Fathers.  He  found  time  also  to  travel  much,  and  he 
gave  most  of  his  fortune  to  establish  a  fund  to  provide 
penniless  girls  with  man-iage  portions.  He  had  enough 
imagination  to  be  the  close  friend  both  of  Lorenzo  de' 
Medici  and  Savonarola.  Savonarola  clothed  his  dead  body 
in  Dominican  robes  and  made  him  posthumously  one  of  the 
order  which  for  some  time  before  his  death  he  had  desired 
to  join.  He  died  in  1494  at  the  early  age  of  thirty-one, 
two  years  after  Lorenzo. 

Angelo  Poliziano,  known  as  Politian,  was  also  a  Renais- 
sance scholar  and  also  a  friend  of  Loi'enzo,  and  his  com- 
panion, with  Pico,  at  his  death-bed  ;  but  although  in 
precocity,  brilliancy  of  gifts,  and  Uterary  charm  he  may  be 
classed  with  Pico,  the  comparison  there  ends,  for  he  was 
a  gross  sensualist  of  mean  exterior  and  capable  of  much 
pettiness.  He  was  tutor  to  Lorenzo's  sons  until  their 
mother  interfered,  holding  that  his  views  were  far  too 
loose,  but  while  in  that  capacity  he  taught  also  Michel- 
angelo and  put  him  upon  the  designing  of  his  relief  of  the 
battle  of  the  Lapithae  and  Centaurs.  At  the  time  of 
Lorenzo  and  Giuliano's  famous  tournament  in  the  Piazza 
of  S.  Croce,  Poliziano  wrote,  as  I  have  said,  the  descriptive 
allegorical  poem  which  gave  BotticelH  ideas  for  his  "  Birth 
of  Venus  "  and  "  Primavera  ".  He  lives  chiefly  by  his  Latin 
poems ;  but  he  did  much  to  make  the  language  of  Tuscany 
a  literary  tongue.  His  elegy  on  the  death  of  Lorenzo  has 
real  feeling  in  it  and  proves  him  to  have  esteemed  that 
friend  and  pati-on.     Like  Pico,  he  survived  Lorenzo  only 

270  S.  MARCO 

two  years,  and  he  also  was  buried  in  Dominican  robes. 
Perhaps  the  finest  feat  of  Poliziano's  life  was  his  action 
in  slamming  the  sacristy  doore  in  the  face  of  Lorenzo's 
pursuers  on  that  fatal  day  in  the  Duomo  when  Giuliano 
de'  Medici  was  stabbed. 

Ghirlandaio's  fresco  in  S.  Trinitst  of  the  granting  of  the 
charter  to  S.  Francis  gives  portraits  both  of  Poliziano  and 
Lorenzo  in  the  year  1485.  Lorenzo  stands  in  a  little 
group  of  four  in  the  right-hand  corner,  holding  out  his 
hand  towards  Poliziano,  who,  with  Lorenzo's  son  Giuliano 
on  his  right  and  followed  by  two  other  boys,  is  advancing 
up  the  steps.  Poliziano  is  seen  again  in  a  Ghirlandaio 
fresco  at  S.  Maria  Novella. 

From  S.  Marco  we  are  going  to  SS.  Annunziata,  but  first 
let  us  just  take  a  few  steps  down  the  Via  Cavour,  in  order  to 
pass  the  Casino  Medici,  since  it  is  built  on  the  site  of  the 
old  Medici  garden  where  Lorenzo  de'  Medici  established 
Bertoldo,  the  sculptor,  as  head  of  a  school  of  instruction, 
amid  those  beautiful  antiques  which  we  have  seen  in  the 
Uffizi,  and  where  the  boy  Michelangelo  was  a  student. 

A  few  steps  farther  on  the  left,  towards  the  Fiesole  heights, 
which  we  can  see  rising  at  the  end  of  the  street,  we  come, 
at  No.  69,  to  a  little  doorway  which  leads  to  a  little  court- 
yard— the  Chiostro  dello  Scalzo — decorated  with  frescoes 
by  Andrea  del  Sarto  and  Franciabigio  and  containing  the 
earliest  work  of  both  ai'tists.  The  frescoes  are  in  mono- 
chi'ome,  which  is  very  unusual,  but  their  interest  is  not 
impaired  thereby :  one  does  not  miss  other  colours.  No.  7, 
the  Baptism  of  Christ,  is  the  first  fresco  these  two  associ- 
ates ever  did ;  and  several  years  elapsed  between  that  and 
the  best  that  are  here,  such  as  the  group  representing  Charity 
and  the  figure  of  Faith,  for  the  work  was  long  interrupted. 
The  boys  on  the  staircase  in  the  fresco  which  shows  S.  John 


leaving  his  father's  house  are  very  much  alive.  This  is  by 
Franciabigio,  as  is  also  S.  John  meeting  with  Christ,  a  very 
charming  scene.  Andrea's  best  and  latest  is  the  Birth  of 
the  Baptist,  which  has  the  fine  figure  of  Zacharias  writing 
in  it.  But  what  he  should  be  writing  at  that  time  and 
place  one  cannot  imagine:  more  reasonably  might  he  be 
called  a  physician  preparing  a  prescription.  On  the  wall 
is  a  teri'a-cotta  bust  of  S.  Antonio,  making  him  much 
younger  than  is  usual. 

Andrea's  suave  brush  we  find  all  over  Florence,  both  in 
fresco  and  picture,  and  this  is  an  excellent  place  to  say  some- 
thing of  the  man  of  whom  English  people  have  perhaps  a 
more  intimate  impression  than  of  any  other  of  the  old 
masters,  by  reason  largely  of  Browning's  poem  and  not  a 
little  by  that  beautiful  portrait  which  for  so  long  was  erron- 
eously considered  to  represent  the  painter  himself,  in  our 
National  Gallery.  Andrea's  life  was  not  very  happy.  No 
painter  had  more  honour  in  his  own  day,  and  none  had  a 
greater  number  of  pupils,  but  these  stopped  with  him  only 
a  short  time,  owing  to  the  demeanour  towards  them  of 
Andrea's  wife,  who  developed  into  a  flirt  and  shrew,  dowered 
with  a  thousand  jealousies.  Andrea,  the  son  of  a  tailor, 
was  bom  in  1486  and  apprenticed  to  a  goldsmith.  Show- 
ing, however,  more  drawing  than  designing  ability,  he  was 
transferred  to  a  painter  named  Barile  and  then  passed  to 
that  curious  man  of  genius  who  painted  the  fascinating 
picture  "  The  Death  of  Procris  "  which  hangs  neai-  Andrea's 
portrait  in  our  National  Gallery — Piero  di  Cosimo.  Piero 
carried  oddity  to  strange  lengths.  He  lived  alone  in  in- 
describable dirt,  and  lived  whcUy  0.1  hard-boiled  eggs,  which 
he  cooked,  with  his  glue,  by  the  fifty,  and  ate  as  he  felt 
inclined.  He  forbade  all  pruning  of  trees  as  an  act  of  in- 
subordination to  Nature,  and  delighted  in  rain  but  cowered 


in  terror  from  thunder  and  lightning.'  He  peered  curiously 
at  clouds  to  find  strange  shapes  in  them,  and  in  his  pursuit 
of  the  grotesque  examined  the  spittle  of  sick  persons  on  the 
walls  or  ground,  hoping  for  suggestions  of  monsters,  com- 
bats of  horses,  or  fantastic  landscapes.  But  why  this  should 
have  been  thought  madness  in  Cosimo  when  Leonardo  in  his 
directions  to  artists  explicitly  advises  them  to  look  hard  at 
spotty  walls  for  inspiration,  I  cannot  say.  He  was  also  the 
first,  to  my  knowledge,  to  don  ear-caps  in  tedious  society — as 
Herbert  Spencer  later  used  to  do.  He  had  many  pupils, 
but  latterly  could  not  bear  them  in  his  presence  and  was 
therefore  but  an  indifferent  instructor.  As  a  deviser  of 
pageants  he  was  more  in  demand  than  as  a  painter ;  but 
his  bi-ush  was  not  idle.  Both  London  and  Paris  have,  I 
think,  better  examples  of  his  genius  than  the  Uffizi ;  but 
he  is  well  represented  at  S.  Spirito. 

Piero  sent  Andrea  to  the  Palazzo  Vecchio  to  study  the 
Leonardo  and  Michelangplo  cartoons,  and  there  he  met 
Franciabigio,  with  whom  he  struck  up  one  of  his  close 
friendships,  and  together  they  took  a  studio  and  began  to 
paint  for  a  living.  Their  first  work  together  was  the 
Baptism  of  Christ  at  which  we  are  now  looking.  The 
next  commission  after  the  Scalzo  was  to  decorate  the 
courtyard  of  the  Convent  of  the  Servi,  now  known  as  the 
Church  of  the  Annunciation ;  and  moving  into  adjacent 
lodgings,  Andrea  met  Jacopo  Sansovino,  the  Venetian 
sculptor,  whose  portrait  by  Bassano  is  in  the  Uffizi,  a  capable 
all-round  man  who  had  studied  in  Rome  and  was  in  the 
way  of  helping  the  young  Andrea  at  all  points.  It 
was  then  too  that  he  met  the  agreeable  and  convivial 
Rustici,  of  whom  I  have  said  something  in  the  chapter  on 
the  Baptistery,  and  quickly  became  something  of  a  blood — 
for  by  this  time,  the  second  decade  of  the  sixteenth  century, 


the  simplicity  of  the  early  artists  had  given  place  to  dashing 
sophistication  and  the  great  period  was  nearly  over.  For 
this  change  the  brilliant  complex  inquiring  mind  of  Leon- 
ardo da  Vinci  was  largely  responsible,  together  with  the 
encouragement  and  example  of  Lorenzo  de'  Medici  and 
such  of  his  cultured  sceptical  friends  as  Alberti,  Pico  della 
Mirandola,  and  Poliziano.  But  that  is  a  subject  too  large 
for  this  book.  Enough  that  a  worldly  splendour  and  vivacity 
had  come  into  artistic  life  and  Andrea  was  an  impression- 
able young  man  in  the  midst  of  it.  It  does  not  seem  to 
have  affected  the  power  and  dexterity  of  his  hand,  but  it 
made  him  a  religious  court-painter  instead  of  a  religious 
painter.  His  sweetness  and  an  underlying  note  of  pathos 
give  his  work  a  peculiar  and  genuine  character ;  but  he  is 
just  not  of  the  greatest.  Not  so  great  really  as  Luca  Sig- 
norelli,  for  example,  whom  few  visitors  to  the  galleries  rush 
at  with  gurgling  cries  of  rapture  as  they  rush  at  Andrea. 

When  Andrea  was  twenty-six  he  maiTied.  The  lady 
was  the  widow  of  a  hatter.  Andrea  had  long  loved  her,  but 
the  hatter  clung  outrageously  to  life.  In  1513,  however, 
she  was  free,  and,  giving  her  hand  to  the  painter,  his 
freedom  passed  for  ever.  Vasari  being  among  Andrea's 
pupils  may  be  trusted  here,  and  Vasari  gives  her  a  bad 
character,  which  Browning  completes.  Andrea  painted 
her  often,  notably  in  the  fresco  of  the  "Nativity  of  the 
Virgin,"  to  which  we  shall  soon  come  at  the  Annunziata  :  a 
fine  statuesque  woman  by  no  means  unwilling  to  have  the 
most  popular  artist  in  Florence  as  her  slave. 

Of  the  rest  of  Andrea's  life  I  need  say  little.  He  giew 
steadily  in  favour  and  was  always  busy ;  he  met  Michel- 
angelo and  admired  him,  and  Michelangelo  warned 
Raphael  in  Rome  of  a  little  fellow  in  Florence  who  would 
"  make  him  sweat ".  Browning,  in  his  monologue,  makes 

274  S.  MARCO 

this  remark  of  Michelangelo's,  and  the  comparison  be- 
tween Andrea  and  Raphael  that  follows,  the  kernel  of 
the  poem. 

Like  Leonardo  and  Rustici,  Andrea  accepted,  in  1518,  an 
invitation  from  Francis  I  to  visit  Paris,  and  once  there  be- 
gan to  paint  for  that  royal  patron.  But  although  his  wife 
did  not  love  him,  she  wanted  him  back,  and  in  the  midst 
of  his  success  he  returned,  taking  with  him  a  large  sum  of 
money  from  Francis  with  which  to  buy  for  the  king  works 
of  art  in  Italy.  That  money  he  misapplied  to  his  own 
extravagant  ends,  and  although  Francis  took  no  punitive 
steps,  the  event  cannot  have  improved  either  Andrea's 
position  or  his  peace  of  mind ;  while  it  caused  Francis  to 
vow  that  he  had  done  with  Florentines.  Andrea  died  in 
16S1,  of  fever,  nursed  by  no  one,  for  his  wife,  fearing  it 
might  be  the  dreaded  plague,  kept  away. 



Andrea  del  Sarto  again— Franciabigio  outraged— Alessio  Baldovinetti 
— Piero  de'  Medici's  church — An  Easter  Sunday  congregation — Andrea's 
"  Madonna  del  Sacco"— "The  Statue  and  the  Bust  "—Henri  IV— The 
Spedale  degU  Innocenti — Andrea  della  Robbia — Domenico  Ghirlandaio 
Cosimo  I  and  the  Etruscans  —Bronzes  and  tapestries — Perugipo's  triptyc 
— S.  Mary  Magdalene  de*  Pazzi — "Very  sacred  human  dust  ". 

FROM  S.  Marco  it  is  an  easy  step,  along  the  Via 
Sapienza,  to  the  Piazza  dell'  Annunziata,  where  one 
finds  the  church  of  that  name,  the  Palazzo  Riccardi- 
Mannelli,  and  opposite  it,  gay  with  the  famous  della  Robbia 
reliefs  of  swaddled  children,  the  Spedale  degli  Innocenti. 

First  the  church,  which  is  notable  for  possessing  in  its 
courtyard  Andrea  del  Sarto's  finest  frescoes.  This  series,  of 
which  he  was  the  chief  painter,  with  his  friend  Franciabigio 
again  as  his  principal  ally,  depict  scenes  in  the  life  of  the 
Virgin  and  S.  Filippo.  The  scene  of  the  Birth  of  the 
Virgin  has  been  called  the  triumph  of  fresco  painting,  and 
certainly  it  is  very  gay  and  life-like  in  that  medium. 
The  whole  picture  very  charming  and  easy,  with  the 
pleasantest  colouring  imaginable  and  pretty  details,  such 
as  the  washing  of  the  baby  and  the  boy  warming  his  hands, 
while  of  the  two  women  in  the  foreground,  that  cm  the  left, 
facing  the  spectator,  is  a  portrait  of  Andrea's  wife,  Lucrezia. 
In  the  Arrival  of  the  Magi  we  find  Andrea  himself,  the 



figure  second  from  the  right-hand  side,  pointing;  while 
next  to  him,  on  the  left,  is  his  friend  Jacopo  Sansovino. 
The  "  Dead  Man  Restored  to  Life  by  S.  Filippo  "  is  Andrea's 
next  best.  Franciabigio  did  the  scene  of  the  Marriage  of 
the  Virgin,  which  contains  another  of  his  well-di-awn  boys 
on  the  steps.  The  injury  to  this  fresco — the  disfigurement 
of  Mary's  face — was  the  work  of  the  painter  himself,  in 
a  rage  that  the  monks  should  have  inspected  it  before  it 
was  ready.  Vasari  is  interesting  on  this  work.  He  draws 
attention  to  it  as  illustrating  "  Joseph's  great  faith  in  tak- 
ing hei',  his  face  expressing  as  much  fear  as  joy  ".  He  also 
says  that  the  blow  which  the  man  is  giving  Joseph  was  part 
of  the  marriage  ceremony  at  that  time  in  Florence. 

Franciabigio,  in  spite  of  his  action  in  the  matter  of 
this  fresco,  seems  to  have  been  a  very  sweet-natured  man, 
who  painted  rather  to  be  able  to  provide  for  his  poor  re- 
lations than  from  any  stronger  inner  impulse,  and  when 
he  saw  some  works  by  Raphael  gave  up  altogether,  as 
Verrocchio  gave  up  after  Leonardo  matured.  Franciabigio 
was  a  few  years  older  than  Andrea,  but  died  at  the  same 
age.  Possibly  it  was  through  watching  his  friend's  domestic 
troubles  that  he  remained  single,  remarking  that  he  who 
takes  a  wife  endures  strife.  His  most  charming  work  is 
that  "Madonna  of  the  Well"  in  the  Ufiizi,  which  is 
reproduced  in  this  volume.  Franciabigio's  master  was 
Mariotto  Albertinelli,  who  had  learned  from  Cosimo 
Rosselli,  the  teacher  of  Piero  di  Cosimo,  Andrea's  master — 
another  illustration  of  the  interdependence  of  Florentine 

One  of  the  most  attractive  works  in  the  courtyard  must 
once  have  been  the  "  Adoration  of  the  Shepherds  "  by  Alessio 
Baldovinetti,  at  the  left  of  the  entrance  to  the  church.  It 
is  badly  damaged  and  the  colour  has  gone,  but  one  can  see 


that  the  valley  landscape,  when  it  was  painted,  was  a 
dream  of  gaiety  and  happiness. 

Hie  particular  treasure  of  the  church  is  the  extremely 
ornate  chapel  of  the  Virgin,  containing  a  picture  of  the  Vir- 
gin displayed  once  a  year  on  the  Feast  of  the  Annunciation, 
March  25th,  in  the  painting  of  which  the  Virgin  herself  took 
part,  descending  from  heaven  for  that  purpose.  The  artist 
thus  divinely  assisted  was  Pietro  Cavallini,  a  pupil  of 
Giotto.  The  silver  shrine  for  the  picture  was  designed  by 
Miehelozzo  and  was  a  beautiful  thing  before  the  canopy 
and  all  the  distressing  accessories  were  added.  It  was  made 
at  the  order  of  Piero  de'  Medici,  who  was  as  fond  of  this 
church  as  his  father  Cosimo  was  of  S.  Lorenzo.  Miehelozzo 
only  designed  it ;  the  sculpture  was  done  by  Pagno  di  Lapo 
Portigiani,  whose  Madonna  is  over  the  tomb  of  Pope  John 
by  Donatello  a;nd  Miehelozzo  in  the  Baptistery. 

Among  the  altar-pieces  are  two  by  Peragino  ;  but  oj 
Florentine  altar-pieces  one  can  say  little  or  nothing  in  a 
book  of  reasonable  dimensions.  There  are  so  many  and 
they  are  for  the  most  part  so  difficult  to  see.  Now  and  then 
one  arrests  the  eye  and  holds  it ;  but  for  the  most  part  they 
go  unstudied.  The  rotunda  of  the  choir  is  interesting, 
for  here  we  meet  again  Alberti,  who  completed  it 
from  designs  by  Miehelozzo.  It  does  not  seem  to  fit  the 
church  from  within,  and  even  less  so  from  without,  but  it  is 
a  fine  stracture.  The  seventeenth-century  painting  of  the 
dome  is  almost  impfessive. 

But  one  can  forget  and  forgive  all  the  church's  gaudi- 
ness  and  floridity  when  the  choir  is  in  good  voice  and  the 
strings  play  Palestrina  as  they  did  last  Easter  Sunday. 
The  Annunziata  is  famous  for  its  music,  and  on  the  great 
occasions  people  crowd  there  as  nowhere  else.  At  High 
Mass  the  singmg  was  fine  but  the  instrumental  music  finer. 


One  is  accustomed  to  seeing  vicarious  woi-ship  in  Italy; 
but  never  was  there  so  vicarious  a  congregation  as  ours, 
and  indeed  if  it  had  not  been  for  the  sight  of  the  busy 
celibates  at  the  altar  one  would  not  have  known  that  one 
was  worehipping  at  all.  The  culmination  of  detachment 
came  when  a  family  of  Siamese  or  Burmese  childi'en,  in 
native  dress,  entered.  A  positive  hum  went  round,  and 
not  an  eye  but  was  fixed  on  the  little  Orientals.  When, 
however,  the  organ  was  for  a  while  superseded  and  the 
violas  and  violins  quivered  under  the  plangent  melody  of 
Palestrina,  our  roving  attention  was  fixed  and  held. 

I  am  not  sure  that  the  Andrea  in  the  cloisters  is  not  the 
best  of  all  his  work.  It  is  very  simple'and  wholly  beautiful, 
and  in  spite  of  years  of  ravage  the  colouring  is  still 
wonderful,  perhaps  indeed  better  for  the  hand  of  Time. 
It  is  called  the  "  Madonna  del  Sacco  "  (grain  sack),  and  fills 
the  lunette  over  the  door  leading  fixim  the  church.  The 
Madonna — Andrea's  favourite  type,  with  the  eyes  set  widely 
in  the  flat  brow  over  the  little  trustful  nose — has  her  Son, 
older  than  usual,  sprawling  on  her  knee.  Her  robes  are 
ample  and  rich  ;  a  cloak  of  green  is  over  her  pretty  head. 
By  her  sits  S.  Joseph,  on  the  sack,  reading  with  very  long 
sight.     That  is  all ;  but  one  does  not  forget  it. 

For  the  rest  the  cloisters  are  a  huddle  of  memorial  slabs 
and  indifferent  frescoes.  In  the  middle  is  a  well  with  nice 
iron  work.  No  grass  at  all.  The  second  cloisters,  into 
which  it  is  not  easy  to  get,  have  a  gaunt  John  the  Baptist 
in  teiTa-cotta  by  Michelozzo. 

On  leaving  the  church,  our  natural  destination  is  the 
Spedale,  on  the  left,  but  one  should  pause  a  moment  in 
the  doorway  of  the  courtyai-d  (if  the  beggar's  who  are  always 
there  do  not  make  it  too  difficult)  to  look  down  the  Via 
de'  Servi  running  straight  away  to  the  cathedral,  which, 

"THE  STATUE  AND  THE  BUST"        279 

with  its  great  red  warm  dome,  closes  the  street.  The 
statue  in  the  middle  of  the  piazza  is  that  of  the  Grand 
Duke  Ferdinand  by  Giovanni  da  Bologna,  cast  from  metal 
taken  from  the  Italians'  ancient  enemies  the  Turks,  while 
the  fountains  are  by  Tacca,  Giovanni's  pupil,  who  made 
the  bronze  boar  at  the  Mercato  Nuovo.  "  The  Synthetical 
Guide  Book,"  from  which  I  have  already  quoted,  warns  its 
readers  not  to  overlook  "  the  puzzling  bees "  at  the  back 
of  Ferdinand's  statue.  "  Try  to  count  them,"  it  adds.  (I 
accepted  the  challenge  and  found  one  hundred  and  one.) 
The  bees  have  reference  to  Ferdinand's  emblem — a  swarm  of 
these  insects,  with  the  words  "  Majestate  tantum  ".  The 
statue,  by  the  way,  is  interesting  for  two  other  reasons  than 
its  subject.  First,  it  is  that  to  which  Browning's  poem, "  The 
Statue  and  the  Bust,"  refers,  and  which,  according  to  the 
poet,  was  set  here  at  Ferdinand's  command  to  gaze  adoringly 
for  ever  at  the  della  Robbia  bust  of  the  lady  whom  he  loved 
in  vain.  But  the  bust  no  longer  is  visible,  if  ever  it  was. 
John  of  Douay  (as  Gian  Bologna  was  also  called) — 

John  of  Douay  shall  effect  my  plan, 
Set  me  on  horseback  here  aloft, 
Alive,  as  the  crafty  sculptor  can. 
In  the  very  square  I  have  crossed  so  oft : 
That  men  may  admire,  when  future  suns 
Shall  touch  the  eyes  to  a  purpose  soft, 
While  the  mouth  and  the  brow  stay  brave  in  bronze- 
Admire  and  say,  "  when  he  was  alive 
How  he  would  take  his  pleasure  once  I  " 

The  other  point  of  interest  is  that  when  Maria  de'  Medici, 
Ferdinand's  niece,  wished  to  erect  a  statue  of  Henri  IV 
(her  late  husband)  at  the  Pont  Neuf  in  Paris  she  asked  to 
borrow  Gian  Bologna.  But  the  sculptor  was  too  old  to 
go  and  therefore  only  a  bronze  cast  of  this  same  horse 
was  ofFei-ed.      In  the  end  Tacca  completed  both  statues, 


and  Henri  IV  was  set  up  in  1614  (after  having  fallen  over- 
boai-d  on  the  voyage  from  Leghorn  to  Havre).  The 
present  statue  at  the  Pont  Neuf  is,  however,  a  modern 

The  fa9ade  of  the  Spedale  degli  Innocenti,  or  children's 
hospital,  when  first  seen  by  the  visitor  evokes  perhaps  the 
quickest  and  happiest  cry  of  recognition  in  all  Florence 
by  reason  of  its  row  of  della  Robbia  babies,  each  in  its 
blue  circle,  reproductions  of  which  have  gone  all  over  the 
world.  These  are  thought  to  be  by  Andrea,  Luca's 
nephew,  and  were  added  long  after  the  building  was 
completed.  Luca  probably  helped  him.  The  hospital 
was  begun  by  Brunelleschi  at  the  cost  of  old  Giovanni 
de'  Medici,  Cosimo's  father,  but  the  Guild  of  the  Silk 
Weavers,  for  whom  Luca  made  the  exquisite  coat  of  arms 
on  Or  San  Michele,  took  it  over  and  finished  it.  Andrea 
not  only  modelled  the  babies  outside  but  the  beautiful 
Annunciation  (of  which  I  give  a  reproduction  in  this 
volume)  in  the  court :  one  of  his  best  works.  The 
photograph  will  show  how  full  of  pretty  thoughts  it  is, 
but  in  colour  it  is  more  charming  still  and  the  green  of 
the  lily  stalks  is  not  the  least  delightful  circumstance. 
Not  only  among  works  of  sculpture  but  among  Annuncia- 
tions this  relief  holds  a  very  high  place.  Few  of  the 
artists  devised  a  scene  in  which  the  great  news  was  brought 
more  engagingly,  in  sweeter  surroundings,  or  received  more 

The  door  of  the  chapel  close  by  leads  to  another  work 
of  art  equally  adapted  to  its  situation — Ghirlandaio's 
Adoration  of  the  Magi:  one  of  the  perfect  pictures  for 
children.  We  have  seen  Ghirlandaio's  Adoration  of  the 
Shepherds  at  the  Accademia :  this  is  its  own  brother. 
It  has  the  sweetest,  mildest  little  Mother,  and  in  addition 

TKK    ('(jROXATlLiN    OF    TlIK    ^IRUJ.N 
rRMM      IHI-     i-k[-si_i,     \'.y    f-RA    A\(;H.ICM    r\     "IHE    C"N\FN'I      OK    S.    jMANCIi 


to  the  elderly  Magi  two  tiny  little  saintlings  adore  too. 
In  the  distance  is  an  enchanted  landscape  about  a  faii^ 

This  hospital  is  a  very  busy  one,  and  the  authorities  are 
glad  to  show  it  to  visitors  who  really  take  an  interest  in 
such  work.  Rich  Italians  caiTy  on  a  fine  rivalry  in 
generosity  to  such  institutions.  Bologna,  for  instance, 
could  probably  give  lessons  in  thoughtful  charity  to  the 
whole  world. 

The  building  opposite  the  hospital  has  a  loggia  which  is 
notable  for  a  series  of  four  arches,  like  those  of  the  Mercato 
Nuovo,  and  in  summer  for  the  flowers  that  hang  down  from 
the  little  balconies.  A  pretty  building.  Before  turning 
to  the  right  under  the  last  of  the  arches  of  the  hospital 
loggia,  which  opens  on  the  Via  della  Colonna  and  from 
the  piazza  always  frames  such  a  charming  picture  of  houses 
and  mountains,  it  is  well,  with  so  much  of  Andrea  del 
Sarto's  work  warm  in  one's  memory,  to  take  a  few  steps 
up  the  Via  Gino  Capponi  (which  also  always  frames  an 
Apennine  vista  under  its  arch)  to  No.  24,  and  see  Andrea's 
house,  on  the  right,  marked  with  a  tablet. 

In  the  Via  della  Colonna  we  find,  at  No.  26  on  the  left, 
the  Palazzo  Crocetta,  which  is  now  a  Museum  of  Antiqui- 
ties, and  for  its  Etruscan  exhibits  is  of  the  greatest  historical 
value  and  interest  to  visitors  to  Tuscany,  such  as  ourselves. 
For  here  you  may  see  what  civilization  was  like  centuries 
before  Christ  and  Rome.  The  beginnings  of  the  Eti-uscan 
people  are  indistinct,  but  about  1000  b.c.  has  been  agi-eed 
to  as  the  dawn  of  their  era.  Etruria  comprised  Tuscany, 
Perugia,  and  Rome  itself.  Florence  has  no  remains,  but 
Fiesole  was  a  fortified  Etruscan  town,  and  many  traces  of  its 
original  builders  may  be  seen  there,  together  with  Etruscan 
relics  in  the  little  museum.     For  the  best  reconstructions 


of  an  Etruscan  city  one  must  go  to  Volterra,  where  so 
many  of  the  treasures  in  the  present  building  were  found. 

The  Etruscans  in  their  heyday  were  the  most  powerful 
people  in  the  world,  but  after  the  fifth  century  their 
supremacy  gradually  disappeared,  the  Gauls  on  the  one 
side  and  the  Romans  on  the  other  wearing  them  down. 
All  our  knowledge  of  them  comes  through  the  spade. 
Excavations  at  Volterra  and  elsewhere  have  revealed  some 
thousands  of  inscriptions  which  have  been  in  part  de- 
ciphered ;  but  nothing  has  thrown  so  much  light  on  this 
accomplished  people  as  their  habit  of  providing  the  ashes 
of  their  dead  with  everything  likely  to  be  needed  for  the 
next  world,  whose  requirements  fortunately  so  exactly 
tallied  with  those  of  this  that  a  complete  system  of 
domestic  civilization  can  be  deduced.  In  arts  and  sciences 
they  were  most  enviably  advanced,  as  a  visit  to  the  British 
Museum  will  show  in  a  moment.  But  it  is  to  this  Floren- 
tine Museum  of  Antiquities  that  all  students  of  Etruria 
must  go.  The  garden  contains  a  number  of  the  tombs 
themselves,  rebuilt  and  refurnished  exactly  as  they  were 
found  ;  while  on  the  ground  floor  is  the  amazing  collection 
of  articles  which  the  tombs  yielded.  The  grave  has  pre- 
served them  for  us,  not  quite  so  perfectly  as  the  volcanic 
dust  of  Vesuvius  preserved  the  domestic  appliances  of 
Pompeii,  but  very  nearly  so.  Jewels,  vessels,  weapons, 
ornaments — many  of  them  of  a  beauty  never  since  repro- 
duced— are  to  be  seen  in  profusion,  now  gathered  together 
for  study  only  a  short  distance  from  the  districts  in  which 
centuries  ago  they  were  made  and  used  for  actual  life. 

Upstairs  we  find  relics  of  an  older  civilization  still,  the 
Egyptian,  and  a  few  rooms  of  works  of  art,  all  found 
in  Etruscan  soil,  the  property  of  the  Pierpont  Morgans 
and  George  Saltings  of  that  ancient  day,  who  had  collected 


them  exactly  as  we  do  now.  Certain  of  the  statues  are 
world-famous.  Here,  for  example,  in  Sala  IX,  is  the  bronze 
Minerva  which  was  found  neai-  Arezzo  in  1554  by  Cosimo's 
workmen.  Here  is  the  Chimaera,  also  from  Arezzo  in  1554, 
which  Cellini  restored  foi-  Cosimo  and  tells  us  about  in  his 
Autobiography.  Here  is  the  superb  Orator  from  Lake 
Trasimene,  another  of  Cosimo's  discoveries. 

In  Sala  X  look  at  the  bronze  situla  in  an  isolated  glass 
case,  of  such  a  peacock  blue  as  only  centuries  could  give  it. 
Upstairs  in  Sala  XVI  are  many  more  Greek  and  Roman 
bronzes,  among  which  I  noticed  a  faun  with  two  pipes  as 
being  especially  good  ;  while  the  little  room  leading  from 
it  has  some  fine  life-size  heads,  including  a  noble  one  of  a 
horse,  and  the  famous  Idolino  on  its  elaborate  pedestal — a 
full-length  Greek  bronze  from  the  earth  of  Pesaro,  where  it 
was  found  in  1530. 

The  top  floor  is  given  to  tapesti'ies  and  embroideries. 
The  collection  is  vast  and  comprises  much  foreign  work  ; 
but  Cosimo  I  introducing  tapestry  weaving  into  Florence, 
many  of  the  examples  come  from  the  city's  looms.  The 
finest,  or  at  any  rate  most  interesting,  seiies  is  that  de- 
picting the  court  of  France  under  Catherine  de'  Medici, 
with  portraits:  very  sumptuous  and  gay  examples  of 
Flemish  work. 

The  trouble  at  Florence  is  that  one  wants  the  days  to 
be  ten  times  as  long  in  order  that  one  may  see  its  wonder- 
ful possessions  properly.  Here  is  this  dry-looking  arch- 
aeological museum,  with  antipathetic  custodians  at  the 
door  who  refuse  to  get  change  for  twenty-lh-a  pieces: 
nothing  could  be  more  unpromising  than  they  or  their 
building ;  and  yqt  you  find  yourself  instantly  among  count- 
less vestiges  of  a  past  people  who  had  risen  to  power  and 
crumbled  again  before  Christ  was  born — but  at  a  time 


when  man  was  so  vastly  more  sensitive  to  beauty  than  he 
now  is  that  every  appliance  for  daily  life  was  the  work  of 
an  artist.  Well,  a  collection  like  this  demands  days  and 
days  of  patient  examination,  and  one  has  only  a  few  hours. 
Were  I  Joshua — had  I  his  curious  gift — it  is  to  Florence  I 
would  straightway  fare.  The  sun  should  stand  still  there : 
no  rock  more  motionless. 

Continuing  along  the  Via  della  Colonna,  we  come,  on 
the  right,  at  No.  8,  to  the  convent  of  S.  Maria  Maddalena 
de'  Pazzi,  which  is  now  a  barracks  but  kefeps  sacred  one 
room  in  which  Perugino  painted  a  crucifixion,  his  master- 
piece in  fresco.  The  work  is  in  three  panels,  of  which  that 
on  the  left,  representing  the  Virgin  and  S.  Bernard,  is  the 
most  beautiful.  Indeed,  there  is  no  more  beautiful  light 
in  any  picture  we  shall  see,  and  the  Virgin's  melancholy 
face  is  inexpressibly  sweet.  Perugino  is  best  represented 
at  the  Accademia,  and  there  are  works  of  his  at  the  Uffizi 
and  Pitti  and  in  various  Florentine  churches ;  but  here  he 
is  at  his  best.  Vasari  tells  us  that  he  made  much  money 
and  was  very  fond  of  it ;  also  that  he  liked  his  young  wife 
to  wear  light  head-dresses  both  out  of  doors  and  in  the 
house,  and  often  dressed  her  himself.  His  master  was 
Verrocchio  and  his  best  pupil  Raphael. 

S.  Mary  Magdalene  de'  Pazzi,  a  member  of  the  same 
family  that  plotted  against  the  Medici  and  owned  the 
sacred  flints,  was  bom  in  1566,  and,  says  Miss  Dunbar,^ 
"  showed  extraordinary  piety  from  a  very  tender  age  ". 
When  only  a  child  herself  she  used  to  teach  small  children, 
and  she  daily  canied  lunch  to  the  prisoners.  Her  real 
name  was  Catherine,  but  becoming  a  nun  she  called  herself 
Mary  Magdalene.  In  an  illness  in  which  she  was  given 
up  for  dead,  she  lay  on  her  bed  for  forty  days,  during 
1  In  "  A  Dictionary  of  Saintly  Women  ". 

E.B.B,  286 

which  she  saw  continual  visions,  and  then  recoverecl.  Like 
S.  Catherine  of  Bologna  she  embroidered  well  and  painted 
mh-aculously,  and  she  once  healed  a  leprosy  by  licking  it. 
She  died  in  1607. 

The  old  English  Cemetery,  as  it  is  usually  called — the 
Protestant  Cemetery,  as  it  should  be  called — is  an  oval 
garden  of  death  in  the  Piazza  Donatello,  at  the  end  of 
the  Via  di  Pinti  and  the  Via  Alfieri,  rising  up  from  the 
boulevard  that  sunounds  the  northern  half  of  Florence. 
(The  new  Protestant  Cemetery  is  outside  the  city  on  the 
road  to  the  Certosa.)  I  noticed,  as  I  walked  beneath  the 
cypresses,  the  grave  of  Arthur  Hugh  Clough,  the  poet  of 
"  Dipsychus,"  who  died  here  in  Florence  on  November  13th, 
1861 ,'  of  Walter  Savage  Landor,  that  old  lion  (born 
January  30th,  1775;  died  September  17th,  1864),  of  whom 
I  shall  say  much  more  in  a  later  chapter ;  of  his  son  Arnold, 
who  was  bom  in  1 818  and  died  in  1871 ;  and  of  Mrs.  Holman 
Hunt,  who  died  in  1866.  But  the  most  famous  grave  is  that 
of  Elizabeth  Barrett  Browning,  who  lies  beneath  a  massive 
tomb  that  bears  only  the  initials  E.B.B.  and  the  date 
1861.  "  Italy,"  wrote  James  Thomson,  the  poet  of  "  The 
City  of  Dreadful  Night,"  on  hearing  of  Mrs.  Browning's 


"  Italy,  you  hold  in  trust 
Very  saaed  human  dust." 



Florence's  Bois  de  Boulogne — Shelley — The  races — The  game  of 
Pallone — SS.  Ognissanti — Botticelli  and  Ghirlandaio — Amerigo  Vespucci 
— The  Platonic  Academy's  garden — Alberti's  Palazzo  Rucellai — Melan- 
choly decay — Two  smiling  boys— The  Corsini  palace — The  Trinity  bridge 
— The  Borgo  San  Jacopo  from  the  back — Home  fishing — SS.  Apostoli — 
A  sensitive  river— The  Ponte  Vecchio— The  goldsmiths— S.  Stefeno. 

THE  Cascine  is  the  "  Bois  "  of  Florence ;  but  it  does  not 
compare  with  the  Parisian  expanse  either  in  size  or 
attraction.  Here  the  wealthy  Florentines  drive,  the  middle 
classes  saunter  And  ride  bicycles,  the  poor  enjoy  picnics,  and 
the  English  take  country  walks.  The  further  one  goes  the 
better  it  is,  and  the  better  also  the  river,  which  at  the  very 
end  of  the  woods  becomes  such  a  stream  as  the  phin- 
airiatea  love,  with  pollarded  trees  on  either  side.  Among 
the  trees  of  one  of  these  woods  nearly  a  hundred  years  ago, 
a  walking  Englishman  named  Percy  Bysshe  Shelley  wrote 
his  "  Ode  to  the  West  Wind  ". 

The  Cascine  is  a  Bois  also  in  having  a  race-course  in  it — 
a  small  course  with  everything  about  it  on  a  little  scale, 
grandstand,  betting  boxes,  and  all.  And  why  not  ? — for 
after  all  Florence  is  quite  small  in  size,  however  remarkable 
in  character.  Here  funny  little  race-meetings  are  held, 
beginning  on  Easter  Monday  and  continuing  at  intervals 
until  the  weather  gets  too  hot.  The  Florentines  pour  out 
in  their  hundreds  and  lie  about  in  the  long  gi-ass  among  the 



wild  flowers,  and  in  their  fives  and  tens  back  their  fancies. 
The  system  is  the  pari-mutuel,  and  here  one  seems  to  be 
more  at  its  mercy  even  than  in  France,  The  odds  keep 
distressingly  low  ;  but  no  one  seems  to  be  either  elated  or 
depressed,  whatever  happens.  To  be  at  the  races  is  the 
thing — to  walk  about  and  watch  the  people  and  enjoy  the 
air.  It  is  the  most  orderly  frugal  scene,  and  the  baleful 
and  mysterious  power  of  the  racehorse  to  poison  life  and 
landscape,  as  in  England,  does  not  exist  here. 

To  the  Cascine  also  in  the  spring  and  autumn  several 
hundred  Florentine  men  come  every  afternoon  to  see  the 
game  of  pallone  and  risk  a  few  lire  on  their  favourite 
players.  Mr.  Ruskin,  whose  "  Mornings  in  Florence  "  is 
still  the  textbook  of  the  devout,  is  severe  enough  upon 
those  visitors  who  even  find  it  in  their  hearts  to  shop  and 
gossip  in  the  city  of  Giotto.  What  then  would  he  have 
said  of  one  who  has  spent  not  a  few  afternoon  hours, 
between  five  and  six,  in  watching  the  game  of  pallone  ? 
I  would  not  call  pallone  a  good  game.  Compared  with 
tennis,  it  is  nothing ;  compared  with  lawn  tennis,  it  is 
poor ;  compai'ed  with  football,  it  is  anaemic ;  yet  in  an 
Italian  city,  after  the  galleries  have  closed,  on  a  warm 
afternoon,  it  will  do,  and  it  will  more  than  do  as  afibrding 
an  opportunity  of  seeing  muscular  Italian  athletes  in  the 
pink  of  condition.  The  game  is  played  by  six,  three  each 
side :  a  battitore,  who  smites  the  ball,  which  is  served  to  him 
very  much  as  in  roundel's ;  the  spalla,  who  plays  back  ;  and 
the  terzino,  who  plays  forward.  The  court  is  sixty  or  more 
yards  long,  on  one  side  being  a  very  high  wall  and  on  the 
other  and  at  each  end  netting.  The  implements  are  the 
ball,  which  is  hollow  and  of  leather,  about  half  the  size  of 
a  football,  and  a  cylinder  studded  with  spikes,  rather  like 
a  huge  fir-cone  or  pine-apple,  which  is  placed  over  the 


wrist  and  forearm  to  hit  the  ball  with ;  and  the  game 
is  much  as  in  tennis,  only  there  is  no  central  net :  merely 
a  line.  Each  man's  ambition,  however,  is  less  to  defeat 
the  returning  power  of  the  foe  than  to  paralyse  it  by 
hinting  the  ball  out  of  reach.  It  is  as  though  a  batsman 
were  out  if  he  failed  to  hit  three  wides. 

A  good  battitore,  for  instance,  can  smite  the  ball  right 
down  the  sixty  yards  into  the  net,  above  the  head  of  the 
opposing  spalla  who  stands  awaiting  it  at  the  far  end.  Such 
a  stroke  is  to  the  English  mind  a  blot,  and  it  is  no  un- 
common thing,  after  each  side  has  had  a  good  rally,  to  see 
the  battitore  put  every  ball  into  the  net  in  this  way  and 
so  win  the  game  without  his  opponents  having  one  return ; 
which  is  the  very  negation  of  sport.  Each  innings  lasts 
until  one  side  has  gained  eight  points,  the  points  going  to 
whichever  player  makes  the  successful  stroke.  This  means 
that  the  betting — and  of  coui-se  there  is  betting — is  upon 
individuals  and  not  upon  sides. 

The  pari-mutuel  system  is  that  which  is  adopted  at  both 
the  pallone  courts  in  Florence  (there  is  another  at  the 
Piazza  Beccaria),  and  the  unit  is  two  lire.  Bets  are 
invited  on  the  winner  and  the  second,  and  place-money  is 
paid  on  both.  No  wonder  then  that  as  the  game  draws  to 
a  close  the  excitement  becomes  intense;  while  during  its 
progress  feeling  runs  high  too.  For  how  can  a  young 
Florentine  who  has  his  money  on,  say,  Gabri  the  battitore, 
withhold  ci'iticiSm  when  Gabri's  arm  fails  and  the  ball  drops 
comfortably  for  the  terzino  Ugo  to  smash  it  into  Gabri's 
net  ?     Such  a  lapse  should  not  pass  unnoticed ;  nor  does  it. 

From  the  Cascine  we  may  either  return  to  Florence 
along  the  banks  of  the  river,  or  cross  the  river  by  the  vile 
iron  Ponte  Sospeso  and  enter  the  city  again,  on  the  Pitti 
side,  by  the  imposing  Porta  S.  Frediano.     Supposing  that 


we  return  by  the  Lungamo  Amerigo  Vespucci  there  is  little 
to  notice,  beyond  costly  modem  houses  of  a  Portland  Place 
type  and  the  inevitable  Garibaldi  statue,  until,  just  past 
the  oblique  pescaja  (or  weir),  we  see  across  the  Piazza 
Manin  the  church  of  All  Saints — S.  Salvadore  d'Ognissanti, 
which  must  be  visited  since  it  is  the  burial-place  of  Bot- 
ticelli and  Amerigo  Vespucci,  the  chapel  of  the  Vespucci 
family  being  painted  by  Ghirlandaio ;  and  since  here  too  lies 
Botticelli's  beautiful  Simonetta,  who  so  untimely  died. 
According  to  Vasari  the  frescoes  of  S.  Jerome  by  Ghirlandaio 
and  S.  Augustine  by  Botticelli  were  done  in  competition. 
They  were  painted,  as  it  happens,  elsewhere,  but  moved 
here  without  injury.  I  think  the  S.  Jerome  is  the  more 
satisfying,  a  benevolent  old  scientific  author — a  Lord 
Avebury  of  the  canon — with  his  implements  about  him  on 
a  tapestry  tablecloth,  a  brass  candlestick,  his  cardinal's  hat, 
and  a  pair  of  tortoise-shell  eyeglasses  handy.  S.  Augustine 
is  also  scientific;  asti'onomical  books  and  instruments 
sun-ound  him  too.     His  tablecloth  is  linen. 

Amerigo  Vespucci,  whose  statue  we  saw  in  the  Uffizi 
portico  colonnade,  was  a  Florentine  by  birth  who  settled  in 
Spain  and  took  to  exploration.  His  discoveries  were  im- 
portant, but  America  is  not  really  among  them,  for  Colum- 
bus, whom  he  knew  and  supported  financially,  got  there  first. 
By  a  mistake  in  the  date  in  his  account  of  his  travels,  Ves- 
pucci's name  came  to  be  given  to  the  new  continent,  and 
it  was  then  too  late  to  alter  it.  He  became  a  naturalized 
Spaniard  and  died  in  1612.  Columbus  indeed  suffers  in 
Florence ;  for  had  it  not  been  for  Vespucci,  America  would 
no  doubt  be  called  Columbia ;  while  Brunelleschi  antici- 
pated him  in  the  egg  tiick. 

The  church  is  very  proud  of  possessing  the  robe  of  S. 
Francis,  which  is  displayed  once  a  year  on  October  4th.     In 


the  refectory  is  a  "  Last  Supper  "  by  Ghirlandaio,  not  quite 
so  good  as  that  which  we  saw  at  S.  Marco,  but  very  similar, 
and,  like  that,  deriving  from  Castagno's  at  the  Cenacolo  di 
Sant'  ApoUonia.  The  predestined  Judas  is  once  more  on 
the  wrong  side  of  the  table. 

Returning  to  the  river  bank  again,  we  are  at  once  among 
the  hotels  and  pensions,  which  continue  cheek  by  jowl  right 
away  to  the  Ponte  Vecchio  and  beyond.  In  the  Piazza 
Goldoni,  where  the  Ponte  Carraia  springs  off,  several 
streets  meet,  best  of  them  and  busiest  of  them  being  that 
Via  della  Vigna  Nuova  which  one  should  miss  few  oppor- 
tunities of  walking  along,  for  here  is  the  palazzo — at  No.  20 
— which  Leon  Battista  Alberti  designed  for  the  Rucellai. 
The  Rucellai  family's  present  palace,  I  may  say  here,  is  in 
the  Via  della  Scala,  and  by  good  fortune  I  found  at  the 
door  sunning  himself  a  complacent  major-domo  who,  the 
house  being  empty  of  its  august  owners,  allowed  me  to 
walk  through  into  the  famous  garden — the  Orti  Oricellari 
— where  the  Platonic  Academy  met  for  a  while  in  Bernardo 
Rucellai's  day.  A  monument  inscribed  with  their  names 
has  been  erected  among  the  evergreens.  Afterwards  the 
garden  was  given  by  Francis  I  to  his  beloved  Bianca 
Capella.  Its  natural  beauties  are  impaired  by  a  gigantic 
statue  of  Polyphemus,  bigger  than  any  other  statue  in 

The  new  Rucellai  palace  does  not  compare  with  the  old, 
which  is,  I  think,  the  most  beautiful  of  all  the  private  houses 
of  the  great  day,  anu  is  more  easily  seen  too,  for  there  is 
a  little  piazza  in  fioiit  of  it.  The  palace,  with  its  lovely 
design  and  its  pilastered  windows,  is  now  a  rookery, 
while  various  industries  thrive  beneath  it.  Part  of  the 
right  side  has  been  knocked  away ;  but  even  still  the  pro- 
portions are  noble.    This  is  a  bad  quarter  for  vandalism ;  for 

I  HE    VIA    DE     VAGELLAI    FROM    THE    I'lAZZA    S.    JACOPO    TRAI-OSSI 


in  the  piazza  opposite  is  a  most  exquisite  little  loggia,  built 
in  1468,  the  three  lovely  arches  of  which  have  been  filled 
in  and  now  form  the  windows  of  an  English  establishment 
known  as  "  The  Artistic  White  House  ".  An  absurd  name, 
for  if  it  were  really  artistic  it  would  open  up  the  arches  again. 
The  Rucellai  chapel,  behind  the  palace,  is  in  the  Via  della 
Spada,  and  the  key  must  be  asked  for  in  the  palace  stables. 
It  is  in  a  shocking  state,  and  quite  in  keeping  with  the 
traditions  of  the  neighbourhood,  while  the  old  church  of 
S.  Pancrazio,  its  neighbour,  is  now  a  Government  tobacco 
factory.  The  Rucellai  chapel  contains  a  model  of  the 
Holy  Sepulchre,  at  Jerusalem,  in  marble  and  intajsia,  by 
bhe  great  Alberti — one  of  the  most  jewel-like  little  buildings 
imaginable.  Within  it  are  the  faint  vestiges  of  a  fresco 
whidi  the  stable-boy  calls  a  Botticelli,  and  indeed  the 
hands  and  faces  of  the  angels,  such  as  one  can  see  of  them 
with  a  farthing  dip,  do  not  render  the  suggestion  impossible. 
On  the  altar  is  a  terra-cotta  Christ  which  he  calls  a  Dona- 
tello,  and  again  he  may  be  right ;  but  fury  at  a  condition  of 
things  that  can  permit  such  a  beautiful  place  to  be  so  de- 
secrated renders  it  impossible  to  be  properly  appreciative 

Since  we  are  here,  instead  of  returning  direct  to  the 
river  let  us  go  a  few  yards  along  this  Via  della  Spada  to 
the  left,  cross  the  Via  de'  Fossi,  and  so  come  to  the  busy 
Via  di  Pallazzuolo,  on  the  left  of  which,  past  the  piazza  of 
S.  Paolino,  is  the  little  church  of  S.  Francesco  de'  Van- 
chetoni.  This  church  is  usually  locked,  but  the  key  is 
next  door,  on  the  right,  and  it  has  to  be  obtained 
because  over  the  right  sacristy  door  is  a  boy's  head  by 
Rossellino,  and  over  the  left  a  boy's  head  by  Desiderio  da 
Settignano,  and  each  is  joyful  and  perfect 

The  Via  de'  Fossi  will  bring  us  again  to  the  Piazza 
Goldoni  and  the  Amo,  and  a  few  yards  farther  along  there 


is  a  palace  to  be  seen,  the   Corsini,   the   only  palazzo 
stiU  inhabited  by  its  family  to  which  strangers  are  ad- 
mitted— the  long  low  white  facade  with  statues  on  the 
top  and  a  large  courtyard,  on  the  Lungamo  Corsini,  just 
after  the  Piazza  Goldoni.      It  is  not  very  interesting  and 
belongs  to  the  wrong  period,  the   seventeenth  century. 
It  is  open  on  fixed  days,  and  free  save  that  one  manservant 
receives  the  visitor  and  another  conducts  him  from  room 
to  room.     There  are  many  pictures,  but  few  of  outstanding 
merit,   and   the  authorship   of  some  of  these  has  been 
challenged.     Thus,  the  cartoon  of  Julius  II,  which  is  called 
a  Raphael  and  seems  to  be  the  sketch  for  one  of  the  well- 
known  portraits  at  the  Pitti,  Uffizi,  or  our  National  Gallery, 
is  held  to  be  not  by  Raphael  at  all.     Among  the  pleasant- 
est  pictures  are  a  Lippo  Lippi  Madonna  and  Child,  a 
Filippino  Lippi  Madonna  and  Child  with  Angels,  and  a 
similar  group  by  Botticelli ;  but  one  has  a  feeling  that  Carlo 
Dolci  and  Guido  Reni  are  the  true  heroes  of  the  house. 
Guido  Reni's  Lucrezia  Romana,  with  a  dagger  which  she 
has  already  thrust  two  inches  into  her  bosom,  as  though  it 
were  cheese,  is  one  of  the  most  foolish  pictures  I  ever  saw. 
The  Corsini  family  having  given  the  world  a  pope,  a  case 
of  papal  vestments  is  here.    It  was  this  Pope  when  Cardinal 
Corsini  who  said  to  Dr.   Johnson's  friend,    Mrs.  Piozzi, 
meeting    him    in    Florence    in    1785,    "  Well,    Madam, 
you  never  saw  one  of  us  red-legged  partridges  before,  I 
believe  ". 

There  may  be  more  beautiful  bridges  in  the  world  than 
the  Trinity,  but  I  have  seen  none.  Its  curve  is  so  gentle 
and  soft,  and  its  three  arches  so  light  and  graceful,  that 
I  wonder  that  whenever  new  bridges  are  necessary  the 
authorities  do  not  insist  upon  the  Trinitsl  being  copied. 
The  Ponte  Vecchio,  of  course,  has  a  separate  interest  of  its 

THE  TRINITX  bridge 

own,  and  stands  apart,  like  the  Rialto.  It  is  a  bridge 
by  chance,  one  might  almost  say.  But  the  Trinity  is  a 
bridge  in  intent  and  supreme  at  that,  the  most  perfect  union 
of  two  river  banks  imaginable.  It  shows  to  what  depths 
modern  Florence  can  fall — how  little  she  esteems  her  past — 
that  the  iron  bridge  by  the  Cascine  should  ever  have  been 

The  various  yellows  of  Florence — the  prevailing  colours 
— are  spread  out  nowhere  so  favourably  as  on  the  Pitti 
side  of  the  river  between  the  Trinity  and  the  Ponte  Vecchio 
on  the  backs  of  the  houses  of  the  Borgo  San  Jacopo,  and 
just  so  must  this  row  have  looked  for  four  hundred  years. 
Certain  of  the  occupants  of  these  tenements,  even  on  the 
upper  floors,  have  fishing  nets,  on  pulleys,  which  they  let 
down  at  intervals  during  the  day  for  the  minute  fish  which 
seem  to  be  as  precious  to  Italian  fishermen  as  sparrows  and 
wrens  to  Italian  gunners. 

The  great  palace  at  the  Trinita  end  of  this  stretch  of 
yellow  buildings — the  Frescobaldi — must  have  been  vei-y 
striking  when  the  loggia  was  open:  the  three  rows  of 
double  arches  that  are  now  walled  in.  From  this  point, 
as  well  as  from  similar  points  on  the  other  side  of  the 
Ponte  Vecchio,  one  realizes  the  mischief  done  by  Cosimo  I's 
secret  passage  across  it ;  for  not  only  does  the  passage 
impose  a  straight  line  on  a  bridge  that  was  never  intended 
to  have  one,  but  it  cuts  Florence  in  two.  If  it  were  not 
for  its  large  central  arches  one  would,  from  the  other 
bridges  or  the  embankment,  see  nothing  whatever  of  the 
further  side  of  the  city ;  but  as  it  is,  through  these  arches 
one  has  heavenly  vignettes. 

We  leave  the  river  again  for  a  few  minutes  about  fifty 
yards  along  the  Lungarno  Acciaioli  beyond  the  Trinita 
and  turn  up  a  narrow  peissage  to  see  the  little  church  of 


SS.  Apostoli,  where  there  is  a  delightful  gay  ciborium,  all 
bright  colours  and  happiness,  attributed  to  Andrea  della 
Robbia,  with  pretty  cherubs  and  pretty  angels,  and  a  be- 
nignant Christ  and  flowera  and  fruit  which  cannot  but 
chase  away  gloom  and  dubiety.  Here  also  is  a  fine  tomb 
by  the  sculptor  of  the  elaborate  chimney-piece  which  we 
saw  in  the  Bargello,  Benedetto  da  Rovezzano,  who  also 
designed  the  church's  very  beautiful  door.  Whether  or 
not  it  is  true  that  SS.  Apostoli  was  built  by  Charlemagne, 
it  is  certainly  very  old  and  architecturally  of  great  interest. 
Vasari  says  that  Brunelleschi  acquired  from  it  his  inspira- 
tion for  S.  Lorenzo  and  S.  Spirito.  To  many  Florentines 
its  principal  importance  is  its  custody  of  the  Pazzi  flints 
for  the  igniting  of  the  sacred  fire  which  in  turn  ignites  the 
famous  Carro. 

Returning  again  to  the  embankment,  we  are  quickly  at 
the  Ponte  Vecchio,  where  it  is  pleasant  at  all  times  to 
loiter  and  observe  both  the  river  and  the  people ;  while 
from  its  central  arches  one  sees  the  mountains.  From 
no  point  are  the  hill  of  S.  Miniato  and  its  stately  cypresses 
more  beautiful ;  but  one  cannot  see  the  church  itself — 
only  the  church  of  S.  Niccolo  below  it,  and  of  course 
the  bronze  "  David  ".  In  dry  weather  the  Amo  is  green ; 
in  rainy  weather  yellow.  It  is  so  sensitive  that  one 
can  almost  see  it  respond  to  the  most  distant  shower ; 
but  directly  the  rain  falls  and  it  is  fed  by  a  thousand 
Apennine  ton-ents  it  foams  past  this  bridge  in  fury. 
The  Ponte  Vecchio  was  the  work,  upon  a  Roman  founda- 
tion, of  Taddeo  Gaddi,  Giotto's  godson,  in  the  middle  of 
the  fourteenth  century,  but  the  shops  are,  of  course,  more 
recent.  The  passage  between  the  Pitti  and  Uffizi  was 
added  in  1564.  Gaddi,  who  was  a  fresco  ^painter  first  and 
architect  afterwards,  was  employed  because  Giotto  was 


absent  in  Milan,  Giotto  being  tbe  first  thought  of  every 
one  in  difficulties  at  that  time.  The  need,  however,  was 
pressing,  for  a  flood  in  1333  had  destroyed  a  large  part 
of  the  Roman  bridge.  Gaddi  builded  so  well  that  when, 
two  hundred  and  more  years  later,  another  flood  severely 
damaged  three  other  bridges,  the  Ponte  Vecchio  was  un- 
banned. None  the  less  it  is  not  Gaddi's  bust  but  Cellini's 
that  has  the  post  of  honour  in  the  centre  ;  but  this  is,  of 
course,  because  Cellini  was  a  goldsmith,  and  it  is  to  gold- 
smiths that  the  shops  belong.  Once  it  was  the  butchers' 
quarter  1 

I  never  cross  the  Ponte  Vecchio  and  see  these  artificers 
in  their  blouses  through  the  windows,  without  wonder- 
ing if  in  any  of  their  boy  assistants  is  the  Michelangelo, 
or  Orcagna,  or  Ghirlandaio,  or  even  Cellini,  of  the 
future,  since  all  of  those,  and  countless  others  of  the 
Renaissance  mastei"s,  began  in  precisely  this  way. 

The  odd  thing  is  that  one  is  on  the  Ponte  Vecchio,  from 
either  end,  before  one  knows  it  to  be  a  bridge  at  all.  A 
street  of  sudden  steepness  is  what  it  seems  to  be.  Not  the 
least  charming  thing  upon  it  is  the  masses  of  groundsel 
which  have  established  themselves  on  the  pent  roof  over 
the  goldsmiths'  shops.  Every  visitor  to  Florence  must 
have  longed  to  occupy  one  of  these  little  bridge  houses  ; 
but  I  am  not  aware  that  any  has  done  so. 

One  of  the  oldest  streets  in  Florence  must  be  the  Via 
Girolami,  from  the  Ponte  Vecchio  to  the  Uffizi,  under  an 
arcL  A  turning  to  the  left  brings  one  to  the  Piazza  S. 
Stefano,  where  the  barn- like  church  of  S.  Stefano  is  entered ; 
and  close  by  is  the  Torre  de'  Girolami,  where  S.  Zenobius 
lived.  S.  Stefano,  although  it  is  now  so  easily  overlooked, 
was  of  importance  in  its  day,  and  it  was  here  that  Niccolo 
da  Uzzano,  the  leader  of  the  nobles,  held  a  meeting  to 


devise  means  of  checking  the  growing  poVer  of  the  people 
early  in  the  fifteenth  century  and  was  thwarted  by  old 
Giovanni  de'  Medici.  From  that  thwarting  proceeded  the 
power  of  the  Medici  family  and  the  gloriously  endowed 
Florence  that  we  travel  to  see. 



The  great  churches  of  Florence— A  Dominican  cathedral— The  "  De- 
cameron "  begins — Domenico  Gbirlandaio— Alessio  Baldovinetti — The 
Louvre — The  S.  Maria  Novella  frescoes — Giovanni  and  I^renzo  Torna- 
buoni — Ruskin  implacable — Cimabue's  Madonna— Filippino  Lippi — Or- 
cagna's  "Last  Judgment  "—The  Cloisters  of  Florence— The  Spanish 
Chapel  —  S.  Dominic  triumphant  —  Giotto  at  his  sweetest  —  The 
"  Wanderer's  "  doom — The  Piazza  as  an  arena. 

S  MARIA  NOVELLA  is  usually  bracketed  with  S. 
•  Croce  as  the  most  interesting  Florentine  church  after 
the  Duomo,  but  S.  Lorenzo  has  of  course  to  be  reckoned 
with  very  seriously.  I  think  that  for  interest  I  should  place 
S.  Maria  Novella  fifth,  including  also  the  Baptistery  before 
it,  but  architecturally  second.  Its  interior  is  second  in 
beauty  only  to  S.  Croce.  S.  Croce  is  its  immediate  religi- 
ous rival,  for  it  was  because  the  Dominicans  had  S.  Maria 
Novella,  begun  in  1278,  that  several  years  later  the  Fran- 
ciscans determined  to  have  an  equally  important  church 
and  built  S.  Croce.  The  S.  Maria  Novella  architects  were 
brothers  of  the  order,  but  Talenti,  whom  we  saw  at  work 
both  on  Giotto's  tower  and  Or  San  Michele,  built  the  cam- 
panile, and  Leon  Battista  Alberti  the  marble  facade,  many 
je&rs  later.  The  richest  patrons  of  S.  Maria  Novella — 
corresponding  to  the  Medici  at  S.  Lorenzo  and  the  Bardi 
at  S.  Croce — were  the  Rucellai,  whose  palace,  designed 
also  by  the  wonderful  versatile  Alberti,  we  have  seen. 



The  interior  of  S.  Maria  Novella  is  very  fine  and  spacious, 
and  it  gathers  and  preserves  an  exquisite  light  at  all  times 
of  the  day.  Nowhere  in  Florence  is  there  a  finer  aisle, 
with  the  roof  springing  so  nobly  and  masterfully  from  the 
eight  columns  on  either  side.  The  whole  effect,  like  that 
of  S.  Croce,  is  rather  northern,  the  result  of  the  yellow  and 
brown  hues ;  but  whereas  S.  Q'oce  has  a  crushing  flat  roof, 
this  one  is  all  soaring  gladness. 

The  finest  view  of  the  interior  is  from  the  altar  steps 
looking  back  to  the  beautiful  circular  window  over  the  en- 
trance, a  mass  of  happy  colour.  In  the  afternoon  the  little 
plain  circular  windows  high  up  in  the  aisle  shoot  shafts  of 
golden  light  upon  the  yellow  walls.  The  high  altar  of 
inlaid  marble  is,  I  think,  too  bright  and  too  large.  The 
church  is  more  impressive  on  Good  Friday,  when  over 
this  altar  is  built  a  Calvary  with  the  crucifix  on  the  summit 
and  life-size  mourners  at  its  foot ;  while  a  choir  and  string 
orchestra  make  superbly  mournful  music. 

I  like  to  think  that  it  was  within  the  older  S.  Maria 
Novella  that  those  seven  mirthful  young  ladies  of  Florence 
remained  one  morning  in  1348,  after  Mass,  to  discuss  plans 
of  escape  from  the  city  during  the  plague.  As  here  they 
chatted  and  plotted,  there  entered  the  church  t^ree  young 
men ;  and  what  simpler  than  to  engage  them  as  companions 
in  their  retreat,  especially  as  all  three,  like  all  seven  of 
the  young  women,  were  accomplished  tellers  of  stories  with 
no  fear  whatever  of  Mrs.  Grundy  ?  And  thus  the  "  De- 
cameron "  of  Giovanni  Boccaccio  came  about. 

S.  Maria  Novella  also  resembles  S.  Croce  in  its  moving 
groups  of  sight-seers  each  in  the  hands  of  a  guide.  These 
one  sees  always  and  hears  always :  so  much  so  that  a  re- 
minder has  been  printed  and  set  up  here  and  there  in  this 
church,  to  the  effect  that  it  is  primarily  the  house  of  God 


and  for  worshippers.  But  S.  Maria  Novella  has  not  a  tithe 
of  S.  Croce's  treasures.  Having  almost  no  tombs  of  first  im- 
portance, it  has  to  rely  upon  its  interior  beauty  and  upon 
its  frescoes,  and  its  chief  glory,  whatever  Mr.  Ruskin,  who 
hated  them,  might  say,  is,  for  most  people,  Ghirlandaio's 
series  of  scenes  in  the  life  of  the  Virgin  and  S.  John  the 
Baptist.  These  cover  the  walls  of  the  choir  and  for  more 
than  four  centuries  have  given  delight  to  Florentines  and 
foreignei-s.  Such  was  the  thoroughness  of  their  painter  in 
his  colour  mixing  (in  which  the  boy  Michelangelo  assisted 
him)  that,  although  they  have  sadly  dimmed  and  require 
the  best  morning  Ught,  they  should  endure  for  centuries 
longer,  a  reminder  not  only  of  the  thoughtful  sincere  in- 
teresting ai't  of  Ghirlandaio  and  of  the  pious  generosity 
of  the  Tomabuoni  family,  who  gave  them,  but  also  of  the 
costumes  and  carriage  of  the  Florentine  ladies  at  the  end 
of  the  fifteenth  century  when  Lorenzo  the  Magnificent  was 
in  his  zenith.  Domenico  Ghirlandaio  may  not  be  quite 
of  the  highest  rank  among  the  makers  of  Florence ;  but 
he  comes  very  near  it,  and  indeed,  by  reason  of  being  Michel- 
angelo's first  instructor,  perhaps  should  stand  amid  them. 
But  one  thing  is  certain — that  without  him  Florence  would 
be  the  poorer  by  many  beautiful  works. 

He  was  bom  in  1449,  twenty-one  years  after  the  death 
of  Masaccio  and  thi'ee  before  Leonardo,  twenty-six  before 
Michelangelo,  and  thirty-four  before  Raphael.  His  full 
name  was  Domenico  or  Tommaso  di  Currado  di  Dofib 
Bigordi,  but  his  father  Tommaso  Bigordi,  a  goldsmith, 
having  hit  upon  a  peculiarly  attractive  way  of  making 
garlands  for  the  hair,  was  known  as  Ghirlandaio,  the  gar- 
land maker ;  and  time  has  eflaced  the  Bigordi  completely. 

The  portraits  of  both  Tommaso  and  Domenico,  side  by 
side,  occur  in  the  fresco  representing  Joachim  driven  from 


the  Temple  :  Domenico,  who  is  to  be  seen  second  from  the 
extreme  right,  a  little  resembles  our  Charles  II.  Like 
his  father,  and,  as  we  have  seen,  like  most  of  the  artists 
of  Florence,  he  too  became  a  goldsmith,  and  his  love 
of  the  jewels  that  goldsmiths  made  may  be  traced  in 
his  pictures ;  but  at  an  early  age  he  was  sent  to 
Alessio  Baldovinetti  to  learn  to  be  a  painter.  Alessio's 
work  we  find  all  over  Florence :  a  Last  Judgment  in  the 
Accademia,  for  example,  but  that  is  not  a  very  pleasing 
thing ;  a  Madonna  Enthroned,  in  the  Uffizi ;  the  S.  Mini- 
ato  fi'escoes ;  the  S.  Trinita  frescoes ;  and  that  extremely 
charming  although  faded  work  in  the  outer  court  of  SS. 
Annunziata.  For  the  most  delightful  picture  from  his 
hand,  however,  one  has  to  go  to  the  Louvre,  where  there  is 
a  Madonna  and  Child  (1300  a),  in  the  early  Tuscan  room^ 
which  has  a  charm  not  excelled  by  any  such  group  that 
I  know.  The  photographers  still  call  it  a  Piero  della 
Fi-ancesca,  and  the  Louvi-e  authorities  omit  to  name  it  at 
all ;  but  it  is  Alessio  beyond  question.  Next  it  hangs  the 
best  Ghirlandaio  that  I  know — the  very  beautiful  Visitation, 
and,  to  add  to  the  interest  of  this  room  to  the  returning 
Florentine  wanderer,  on  the  same  wall  are  two  far  more 
attractive  works  by  Bastiano  Mainardi  (Ghirlandaio's 
brother-in-law  and  assistant  at  S.  Maria  Novella)  than  any 
in  Florence. 

Alessio,  who  was  bom  in  14<27,  was  an  open-handed 
ingenious  man  who  could  not  only  paint  and  do  mosaic 
but  once  made  a  wonderful  clock  for  Loi'enzo.  His  experi- 
ments with  colour  were  disastrous:  hence  most  of  his 
li'escoes  have  perished  ;  but  possibly  it  was  through  Alessio's 
mistakes  that  Ghirlandaio  acquired  the  use  of  such  a  last- 
ing medium.  Alessio  was  an  independent  man  who  painted 
from  taste  and  not  necessity. 


Ghirlandaio's  chief  influences,  however,  were  Masaccio, 
at  the  Carmine,  Fra  Lippo  Lippi,  and  Verrocchio,  who  is 
thought  also  to  have  been  Baldovinetti's  pupil  and  whose 
Baptism  of  Christ,  in  the  Accademia,  painted  when  Ghirlan- 
daio  was  seventeen,  must  have  given  Ghirlandaio  the  lines 
for  his  own  treatment  of  the  incident  in  this  church.  One 
has  also  only  to  compare  Verrocchio's  sculptured  Madonnas 
in  the  Bargello  with  many  of  Ghirlandaio's  to  see  the 
influence  again ;  both  were  attracted  by  a  similar  type  of 
sweet,  easy-natured  girl. 

When  he  was  twenty-six  Ghirlandaio  went  to  Rome  to 
paint  the  Sixtine  library,  and  then   to  San  Gimignano, 
where  he  was  assisted  by  Mainardi,  who  was  to  remain  his 
most  valuable  ally  in  executing  the  large  commissions  which 
were  to  come  to  his  workshop.     His  earliest  Florentine 
frescoes   are   those    which   we   shall    see   at   Ognissanti; 
the    Madonna    della   Misericordia    and  the    Deposition 
painted   for  the  Vespucci  family  and   only  recently  dis- 
covered, together  with  the  S.  Jerome,  in  the  church,  and 
the  Last  Supper,  in  the  refectory.     By  this  time  Ghirlan- 
daio and  Botticelli  were  in  some  sort  of  rivalry,  although, 
so  far  as  I  know,  friendly  enough,  and  both  went  to  Rome 
in  1481,  together  with  Perugino,  Pieio  di  Cosimo,  Cosimo 
Rosselli,  Luca  Signorelli  and  others,  at  the  command  of 
Pope  Sixtus  IV  to  decorate  the  Sixtine  chapel,  the  excom- 
munication of  all  Florentines  which  the  Pope  had  decreed 
after  the  failure  of  the  Pazzi  Conspiracy  to  destroy  the 
Medici  (as  we  saw  in  chapter  II)  having  been  removed  in 
order  to  get  these  excellent  workmen  to  the  Holy  City. 
Painting  very  rapidly  the  little  band  had  finished  theii- 
work  in  six  months,  and  Ghirlandaio  was  at  home  again 
with  such  an  ambition  and  industry  in  him  that  he  once 
expressed  the  wish  that  every  inch  of  the  walls  of  Florence 


might  be  covered  by  his  brush — and  in  those  days  Florence 
had  walls  all  round  it,  with  twenty-odd  towers  in  addition 
to  the  gates.  His  next  great  frescoes  wei"e  those  in  the 
Palazzo  Vecchio  and  S.  Trinita.  It  was  in  1485  that  he 
painted  his  delightful  Adoration,  at  the  Accademia, 
and  in  1486  he  began  his  great  series  at  S.  Maria  Novella, 
finishing  them  in  1490,  his  assistants  being  his  brother 
David,  Benedetto  Mainardi,  who  married  Ghirlandaio's 
sister,  and  certain  apprentices,  among  them  the  youthful 
Michelangelo,  who  came  to  the  studio  in  1488. 

The  story  of  the  frescoes  is  this.  Ghirlandaio  when  in 
Rome  had  met  Giovanni  Tornabuoni,  a  wealthy  merchant 
whose  wife  had  died  in  childbii"th.  Her  death  we  have 
already  seen  treated  in  relief  by  Verrocchio  in  the  Bargello. 
Ghirlandaio  was  first  asked  to  beautify  in  her  honour  the 
Minerva  at  Rome,  where  she  was  buried,  and  this  he  did. 
Later  when  Giovanni  Tornabuoni  wished  to  present  S.  Maria 
Novella  with  a  handsome  benefaction,  he  induced  the  Ricci 
family,  who  owned  this  chapel,  to  allow  him  to  re-decorate 
it,  and  engaged  Ghirlandaio  for  the  task.  This  meant  first 
covering  the  fast  fading  frescoes  by  Orcagna,  which  were 
already  there,  and  then  painting  over  them.  What  the 
Orcagnas  were  like  we  cannot  know;  but  the^ substitute, 
although  probably  it  had  less  of  curious  genius  in  it 
was  undoubtedly  more  atti'active  to  the  ordinary  ob- 
server. -- 

The  right  wall,  as  one  faces  the  window  (whose  richness 
of  coloured  glass,  although  so  fine  in  the  church  as  a 
whole,  is  here  such  a  privation),  is  occupied  by  scenes  in  the 
story  of  the  Baptist ;  the  left  by  the  life  of  the  Virgin. 
The  left  of  the  lowest  pair  on  the  right  wall  represents 
S.  Mary  and  S.  Elizabeth,  and  in  it  a  party  of  Ghirlandaio's 
stately  Florentine  ladies  watch  the  greeting  of  the  two 


saints  outside  Florence  itself,  symbolized  rather  than 
portrayed,  very  near  the  church  in  which  we  stand. 
The  girl  in  yellow,  on  the  right  of  the  picture,  with  her 
handkerchief  in  her  hand  and  wearing  a  rich  dress,  is  Gio- 
vanna  degli  Albizzi,  who  married  Lorenzo  Tomabuoni  at  the 
Villa  Lemmi  near  Florence,  that  villa  from  which  Botticelli's 
exquisite  fresco,  now  in  the  Louvre  at  the  top  of  the  main 
staircase,  in  which  she  again  is  to  be  seen,  was  taken.  Her 
life  was  a  sad  one,  for  her  husband  was  one  of  those  who 
conspired  with  Piero  di  Lorenzo  de'  Medici  for  his  return 
some  ten  years  later,  and  was  beheaded.  S.  Elizabeth  is 
of  course  the  older  woman.  The  companion  to  this  pic- 
ture represents  the  angel  appearing  to  S.  Zacharias,  and 
here  again  Ghirlandaio  gives  us  contemporary  Florentines, 
portraits  of  distinguished  Tomabuoni  men  and  certain 
friends  of  eminence  among  them.  In  the  little  group  low 
down  on  the  left,  for  example,  are  Poliziano  and  Marsilio 
Ficino,  the  Platonist.  Above — but  seeing  is  beginning  to 
be  difficult — the  pair  of  frescoes  represent,  on  the  right,  the 
birth  of  the  Baptist,  and  on  the  left,  his  naming.  The 
birth  scene  has  much  beauty,  and  is  as  well  composed  as 
any,  and  there  is  a  girl  in  it  of  superb  grace  and  nobility ; 
but  the  birth  scene  of  the  Virgin,  on  the  opposite  wall,  is 
perhaps  the  finer  and  certainly  more  easily  seen.  In  the 
naming  of  the  child  we  find  Medici  portraits  once  more, 
that  family  being  related  to  the  Tomabuoni;  and  Mr. 
Davies,  in  his  book  on  Ghu-landaio,  offers  the  interesting 
suggestion,  which  he  supports  very  reasonably,  that  the 
painter  has  made  the  incident  refer  to  the  naming  of 
Lorenzo  de'  Medici's  thu-d  son,  Giovanni  (or  John),  who 
afterwards  became  Pope  Leo  X.  In  that  case  the  man  on 
the  left,  in  green,  with  his  hand  on  his  hip,  would  be 
Lorenzo  himself,  whom  he  certainly  resembles.     Who  the 


sponsor  is  is  not  known.     The  landscape  and  architecture 
are  alike  charming. 

Above  these  we  faintly  see  that  strange  Baptism  of  Christ, 
so  curiously  like  the  Verrocchio  in  the  Accademia,  and  the 
Baptist  preaching. 

The  left  wall  is  perhaps  the  favourite.  We  begin  with 
Joachim  being  driven  from  the  Temple,  one  of  the  lowest 
pair ;  and  this  has  a  peculiar  interest  in  giving  us  a  por- 
trait of  the  painter  and  his  associates — the  figure  on  the 
extreme  right  being  Benedetto  Mainardi ;  then  Domenico 
Ghirlandaio ;  then  his  father ;  and  lastly  his  brother  David. 
On  the  opposite  side  of  the  picture  is  the  fated  Lorenzo 
Tomabuoni,  of  whom  I  have  spoken  above,  the  figuie 
farthest  from  the  edge,  with  his  hand  on  his  hip.  The 
companion  picture  is  the  most  popular  of  all — the  Birth  of 
the  Virgin — certainly  one  of  the  most  charming  interiors 
in  Florence.  Here  again  we  have  portraits — no  doubt 
Tomabuoni  ladies — and  much  pleasant  fancy  on  the  part 
of  the  painter,  who  made  everything  as  beautiful  as  he 
could,  totally  unmindful  of  the  probabilities.  Ruskin  is 
angry  with  him  for  neglecting  to  show  the  splashing  of  the 
water  in  the  vessel,  but  it  would  be  quite  possible  for  no 
splashing  to  be  visible,  especially  if  the  pouring  had  only 
just  begun ;  but  for  Ruskin's  strictures  you  must  go  to 
"  Mornings  in  Florence,"  where  poor  Ghirlandaio  gets  a  lash 
for  every  virtue  of  Giotto.  Next — above,  on  the  left — we 
have  the  Presentation  of  the  Virgin  and  on  the  right  her 
Maniage.  The  Presentation  is  considered  |by  Mr.  Davies 
to  be  almost  wholly  the  work  of  Ghirlandaio's  assistants, 
while  the  youthful  Michelangelo  himself  has  been  credited 
with  the  half-naked  figure  on  the  steps,  although  Mr. 
Davies  gives  it  to  Mainardi.  Mainaidi  again  is  probably 
the  author  of  the  companion  scene.     The  remaining  fres- 


coes  are  of  less  interest  and  much  damaged  ;  but  in  the 
window  wall  one  should  notice  the  portraits  of  Giovanni 
Tornabuoni  and  Francesca  di  Luca  Pitti,  his  wife,  kneeling, 
because  this  Giovanni  was  the  donor  of  the  frescoes,  and  his 
sister  Lucrezia  was  the  wife  of  Piero  de'  Medici  and  there- 
fore the  mother  of  Lorenzo  the  Magnificent,  while  Fran- 
cesca Tornabuoni,  the  poor  lady  who  died  in  childbirth, 
was  the  daughter  of  that  proud  Florentine  who  began  the 
Pitti  palace  but  ended  his  life  in  disgrace. 

And  so  we  leave  this  beautiful  recess,  where  pure  re- 
ligious feeling  may  perhaps  be  wanting  but  where  the  best 
spirit  of  the  Renaissance  is  to  be  found  :  everything  mak- 
ing for  harmony  and  pleasure  ;  and  on  returning  to  London 
the  visitor  should  make  a  point  of  seeing  the  Florentine 
girl  by  the  same  hand  in  our  National  Gallery,  No.  1230, 
for  she  is  very  typical  of  his  genius. 

On  the  entrance  wall  of  the  church  is  what  must  once 
have  been  a  fine  Masaccio — "  The  Trinity  " — but  it  is  in  very 
bad  condition  ;  while  in  the  Cappella  Rucellai  in  the  light 
transept  is  what  purports  to  be  a  Cimabue,  very  like  the 
one  in  the  Accademia,  but  with  a  rather  more  matured 
Child  in  it.  Vasari  tells  us  that  on  its  completion  this 
picture  was  carried  in  stately  procession  from  the  painter's 
studio  to  the  church,  in  great  rejoicing  and  blowing  of 
trumpets,  the  populace  being  moved  not  only  by  religious 
ecstasy  but  by  pride  in  an  artist  who  could  make  such  a 
beautiful  and  spacious  painting,  the  lai-gest  then  known. 
Vasari  adds  that  when  Cimabue  was  at  work  upon  it, 
Charles  of  Anjou,  visiting  Florence,  was  taken  to  his  studio, 
to  see  the  wonderful  painter,  and  a  number  of  Florentines 
entering  too,  they  broke  out  into  such  rejoicings  that  the 
locality  was  known  ever  after  as  Borgo  Allegro,  or  Joyful 
Quarter.     This  would  be  about  1290.     There  was  a  cer- 



tain  fitness  in  Cimabue  painting  this  Madonna,  for  it  is 
said  that  he  had  his  education  in  the  convent  which  stood 
hei^e  before  the  present  church  was  begun.  But  I  should 
add  that  of  Cimabue  we  know  practically  nothing,  and  that 
most  of  Vasari's  statements  have  been  confuted,  while  the 
painter  of  the  S.  Maria  Novella  Madonna  is  held  by  some 
authorities  to  be  Duccio  of  Siena.     So  where  are  we  ? 

The  little  chapel  next  the  choir  on  the  right  is  that  of 
Filippo  Strozzi  the  elder  who  was  one  of  the  witnesses  of 
the  Pazzi  outrage  in  the  Duomo  in  1478.  This  was  the 
Filippo  Strozzi  who  began  the  Strozzi  palace  in  1489, 
father  of  the  Filippo  Strozzi  who  married  Lorenzo  de' 
Medici's  noble  grand-daughter  Clarice  and  came  to  a  tragic 
end  under  Cosimo  I.  Old  Filippo 's  tomb  here  was  designed 
by  Benedetto  da  Maiano,  who  made  the  famous  Franciscan 
pulpit  in  S.  Croce,  and  was  Ghii-landaio's  friend  and  the 
Strozzi  palace's  first  architect.  The  beautiful  circular 
relief  of  the  Virgin  and  Child,  with  a  border  of  roses  and 
flying  worshipping  angels  all  about  it,  behind  the  altar, 
is  Benedetto's  too,  and  very  lovely  and  human  are  both 
Mother  and  Child. 

The  frescoes  in  this  chapel,  by  Filippino  Lippi,  are  in- 
teresting, particularly  that  one  on  the  left,  depicting  the 
Resuscitation  of  Drusiana  by  S.  John  the  Evangelist,  at 
Rome,  in  which  the  group  of  women  and  children  on  the 
right,  with  the  little  dog,  is  full  of  life  and  most  naturally 
done.  Above  (but  almost  impossible  to  see)  is  S.  John  in 
his  cauldron  of  boiling  oil  between  Roman  soldiers  and 
the  denouncing  Empei'or,  under  the  banner  S.P.Q.R. — a 
work  in  which  Roman  local  colour  completely  excludes  re- 
ligious feeling.  Opposite,  below,  we  see  S.  Philip  exorcis- 
ing a  dragon,  a  very  florid  scene,  and,  above,  a  painfully 
spirited   and   realistic  representation  of  the  Crucifixion. 


The  sweetness  of  the  figures  of  Charity"and  Faith  in  mono- 
chrome and  gold  helps,  with  Benedetto's  tondo,  to  engentle 
the  air. 

We  then  come  again  to  the  Choir,  with  Ghirlandaio's 
urbane  Florentine  pageant  in  the  guise  of  sacred  history, 
and  pass  on  to  the  next  chapel,  the  Cappella  Gondi,  where 
that  crucifix  in  wood  is  to  be  seen  which  Brunelleschi  carved 
as  a  lesson  to  Donatello,  who  received  it  like  the  gentleman 
he  was.     I  have  told  the  story  in  Chapter  XV. 

The  left  transept  endsin  the  chapel  of  the  Strozzi  family, 
of  which  Filippo  was  the  head  in  his  day,  and  here  we  find 
Andrea  Orcagna  and  his  brother's  fresco  of  Heaven,  the 
Last  Judgment  and  Hell.  It  was  the  two  Orcagnas  who, 
according  to  Vasari,  had  covered  the  Choir  with  those 
scenes  in  the  life  of  the  Virgin  which  Ghirlandaio  was 
allowed  to  paint  over,  and  Vasari  adds  that  the  later  artist 
availed  himself  of  many  of  the  ideas  of  his  predecessors. 
This,  however,  is  not  very  likely,  I  think,  except  perhaps  in 
choice  of  subject.  Orcagna,  like  Giotto,  and  later,  Michel- 
angelo, was  a  student  of  Dante,  and  the  Strozzi  chapel 
frescoes  follow  the  poet's  descriptions.  In  the  Last  Judg- 
ment, Dante  himself  is  to  be  seen,  among  the  elect,  in  the 
attitude  of  prayer.     Petrarch  is  with  him. 

The  sacristy  is  by  Talenti  (of  the  Campanile)  and  was 
added  in  1350.  Among  its  treasures  once  were  the  three 
reliquaries  painted  by  Fra  Angelico,  but  they  are  now  at 
S.  Marco.  It  has  still  rich  vestments,  fine  woodwork,  and 
a  gay  and  elaborate  lavabo  by  one  of  the  della  Robbias, 
with  its  wealth  of  ornament  and  colour  and  its  charming 
Madonna  and  Child  with  angels. 

A  little  doorway  close  by  used  to  lead  to  the  cloisters, 
and  a  mercenary  sacristan  was  never  far  distant,  only  too 
ready  to   unlock  for  a  fee  what  should  never  have  been 


locked,  and  black  with  fury  if  he  got  nothing.  But  all  this 
has  now  been  done  away  with,  and  the  entrance  to  the 
cloisters  is  from  the  Piazza,  j  ust  to  the  left  of  the  church,  and 
there  is  a  tumstUe  and  a  fee  of  fifty  centimes.  At  S.  Lorenzo 
the  cloisters  are  free.  At  the  Carmine  and  the  Annunziata 
the  cloisters  are  free.  At  S.  Croce  the  charge  is  a  lira  and 
at  S.  Maria  Novella  half  a  lira.  To  make  a  charge  for  the 
cloisters  alone  seems  to  me  utterly  wicked;  Let  the  Pazzi 
Chapel  at  S.  Croce  and  the  Spanish  Chapel  here  have  fees, 
if  you  like;  but  the  cloisters  should  be  open  to  all. 
Children  should  be  encouraged  to  play  there. 

Since,  however,  S.  Maria  Novella  imposes  a  fee  we  must 
pay  it,  and  the  new  arrangement  at  any  rate  carries  this 
advantage  with  it,  that  one  knows  what  one  is  expected  to 
pay  and  can  count  on  entrance. 

The  cloisters  are  everywhere  interesting  to  loiter  in,  but 
their  chief  fame  is  derived  from  the  Spanish  Chapel,  which 
gained  that  name  when  in  1566  it  was  put  at  the  disposal 
of  Eleanor  of  Toledo's  suite  on  the  occasion  of  her  marriage 
to  Cosimo  I.  Nothing  Spanish  about  it  otherwise.  Both 
structure  and  frescoes  belong  to  the  fourteenth  century. 
Of  these  frescoes,  which  are  of  historical  and  human  interest 
rather  than  artistically  beautiful,  that  one  on  the  right 
wall  as  we  enter  is  the  most  famous.  It  is  a  pictorial  glori- 
fication of  the  Dominican  order  triumphant  ;  with  a  vivid 
reminder  of  the  origin  of  the  word  Dominican  in  the  episode 
of  the  wolves  (or  heretics)  being  attacked  by  black  and 
white  dogs,  the  Canes  Domini,  or  hounds  of  the  Lord. 
The  "  Mornings  in  Florence  "  should  here  be  consulted  again, 
for  Ruskin  made  a  very  thorough  and  characteristically  de- 
cisive analysis  of  these  paintings,  which,  whether  one  agrees 
with  it  or  not,  is  profoundly  interesting.  Poor  old  Vasari, 
who  so  patiently  described  them  too  and  named  a  number 


of  the  originals  of  the  portraits,  is  now  shelved,  and  from 
both  his  artists,  Simone  Martini  and  Taddeo  Gaddi,  has 
the  authorship  been  taken  by  modern  experts.  Some  one, 
however,  must  have  done  the  work.  The  Duomo  as  repre- 
sented here  is  not  the  Duomo  of  fact,  which  had  not  then 
its  dome,  but  of  anticipation. 

Opposite,  we  see  a  representation  of  the  triumph  of  the 
greatest  of  the  Dominicans,  after  its  founder,  S.  Thomas 
Aquinas,  the  author  of  the  "Summa  Theologiae,"  who 
died  in  1274.  The  painter  shows  the  Angelic  Doctor  en- 
throned amid  saints  and  patriarchs  and  heavenly  attend- 
ants, while  three  powerful  heretics  grovel  at  his  feet,  and 
beneath  are  the  Sciences  and  Moral  Qualities  and  certain 
distinguished  men  who  served  them  conspicuously,  such  as 
Aristotle,  the  logician,  whom  S.  Thomas  Aquinas  edited, 
and  Cicero,  the  rhetorician.  In  real  life  Aquinas  was  so 
modest  and  retiring  that  he  would  accept  no  exalted  post 
from  the  Church,  but  remained  closeted  with  his  books 
and  scholars  ;  and  we  can  conceive  what  his  horror  would 
be  could  he  view  this  apotheosis.  On  the  ceiling  is  a  quaint 
rendering  of  the  walking  on  the  water,  S.  Peter's  failure 
being  watched  from  the  ship  with  the  utmost  closeness  by 
the  other  disciples,  but  attracting  no  notice  whatever  from 
an  angler,  close  by,  on  the  shore.  The  chapel  is  desolate 
and  unkempt,  and  those  of  us  who  are  not  Dominicans  are 
not  sorry  to  leave  it  and  look  for  the  simple  sweetness  of 
the  Giottos. 

These  are  to  be  found,  with  some  difficulty,  on  the  walls 
of  the  niche  where  the  tomb  of  the  Marchese  Ridolfo  stands. 
They  are  certainly  very  simple  and  telling,  and  I  advise  every 
one  to  open  the  "  Mornings  in  Florence  "  and  learn  how  the 
wilful  magical  pen  deals  with  them ;  but  it  would  be  a  pity 
to  give  up  Ghirlandaio  because  Giotto  was  so  different, 


as  Ruskin  wished.  Room  for  both.  One  scene  represents 
the  meeting  of  S.  Joachim  and  S.  Anna  outside  a  mediaeval 
city's  walls,  and  it  has  some  pretty  Giottesque  touches, 
such  as  the  man  carrying  doves  to  the  Temple  and  the 
angel  uniting  the  two  saints  in  friendliness ;  and  the  other 
is  the  Birth  of  the  Virgin,  which  Ruskin  was  so  pleased 
to  pit  against  Ghirlandaio's  treatment  of  the  same  incident. 
Well,  it  is  given  to  some  of  us  to  see  only  what  we  want  to 
see  and  be  blind  to  the  rest ;  and  Ruskin  was  of  these  the 
very  king.  I  agree  with  him  that  Ghirlandaio  in  both  his 
Nativity  frescoes  thought  little  of  the  exhaustion  of  the 
mothers ;  but  it  is  arguable  that  two  such  accouchements 
might  with  propriety  be  treated  as  abnormal — as  indeed 
every  painter  has  treated  the  birth  of  Christ,  where  the 
Vh'gin,  fully  dressed,  is  receiving  the  Magi  a  few  moments 
after.  Ruskin,  after  making  his  deadly  comparisons,  con- 
cludes thus  genially  of  the  Giotto  version — "  If  you  can  be 
pleased  with  this,  you  can  see  Florence.  But  if  not,  by  all 
means  amuse  yourself  thex-e,  if  you  can  find  it  amusing,  as 
long  as  you  Jike ;  you  can  never  see  it." 

The  S.  Maria  Novella  habit  is  one  to  be  quickly  con- 
tracted by  the  visitor  to  Florence :  nearly  as  important  as 
the  S.  Croce  habit.  Both  churches  are  hospitable  and,  apart 
from  the  cloisters,  free  and  eminently  suited  for  dallying 
in ;  thus  differing  from  the  Duomo,  which  is  dark,  and  S. 
Lorenzo,  where  there  are  payments  to  be  made  and  attend- 
ants to  discourage. 

An  effort  should  be  made  at  S.  Maria  Novella  to  get  into 
the  old  cloisters,  which  are  very  large  and  indicate  what  a 
vast  convent  it  once  was.  But  there  is  no  certainty.  The 
way  is  to  go  through  to  the  Palaestra  and  hope  for  the 
best.  Here,  as  I  have  said  in  the  second  chapter,  were 
lodged  Pope  Eugenius  and  his  suite,  when  they  came  to  th6 


Council  of  Florence  in  1 439.  These  large  and  beautiful  green 
cloistei-s  ai'e  now  deserted.  Through  certain  windows  on 
the  left  one  may  see  chemists  at  work  compounding  drugs 
and  perfumes  after  old  Dominican  recipes,  to  be  sold  at  the 
Farmacia  in  the  Via  della  Scala  close  by.  The  great  refec- 
tory has  been  turned  into  a  gymnasium. 

The  two  obelisks,  supported  by  tortoises  and  surmounted 
by  beautiful  lilies,  in  the  Piazza  of  S.  Maria  Novella  were 
used  as  boundaries  in  the  chariot  races  held  here  under 
Cdsimo  I,  and  in  the  collection  of  old  Florentine  prints  on 
the  top  floor  of  Michelangelo's  house  you  may  see  repre- 
sentations of  these  races.  The  charming  loggia  opposite  S. 
Maria  Novella,  with  della  Robbia  decorations,  is  the  Loggia 
di  S.  Paolo,  a  school  designed,  it  is  thought,  by  Brunelleschi, 
and  here,  at  the  right  hand  end,  we  see  S.  Dominic  him- 
self in  a  friendly  embrace  with  S.  Francis,  a  very  beautiful 
group  by  either  Luca  or  A.ndrea  della  Robbia. 

In  the  loggia  cabmen  now  wrangle  all  day  and  all  night. 
From  it  S.  Maria  Novella  is  seen  under  the  best  conditions, 
always  cheerful  and  serene ;  while  far  behind  the  church  is 
the  huge  Apennine  where  most  of  the  weather  of  Florence 
seems  to  be  manufactured.  In  mid  April  this  year  (1912) 
it  still  had  its  cap  of  snow. 



A  city  of  trams — The  old  market — Oonatello's  figure  of  Abundance — 
An  evening  resort — A  hall  of  variety — Florentines  of  to-day — The  war 
with  Turkey — Homecoming  heroes — Restaurants — The  new  market — The 
bronze  boar — A  fifteenth  century  palace — Old  Florentine  life  reconstructed 
— Where  changes  are  few — S.  Trinitil — Ghirlandaio  again — S.  Francis— 
The  Strozzi  palace — Clarice  de'  Medici.  ^ 

FLORENCE  is  not  simple  to  the  stranger.  Like  all 
very  old  cities  built  fortuitously  it  is  difficult  to 
learn :  the  points  of  the  compass  are  elusive ;  the  streets 
are  so  narrow  that  the  sky  is  no  constant  guide ;  the 
names  of  the  streets  are  often  not  there ;  the  policemen 
have  no  high  standard  of  helpfulness.  There  are  ti-ams,  it 
is  true — too  many  and  too  noisy,  and  too  near  the  pavement 
— but  the  names  of  their  outward  destinations,  from  the 
centre,  too  rarely  correspond  to  any  point  of  interest  that 
one  is  desiring.  Hence  one  has  many  embarrassm'ents  and 
even  annoyances.  Yet  I  daresay  this  is  best :  an  orderly 
Florence  is  unthinkable.  Since,  however,  the  trams  that 
are  returning  to  the  centre  nearly  all  go  to  the  Duomo, 
either  passing  it  or  stopping  there,  the  tram  becomes  one's 
best  fi'iend  and  the  Duomo  one's  starting  point  for  most 

Supposing  ourselves  to  be  there  once  more,  let  us  quickly 
get  through  the  horrid  necessity,  which  confronts  one  in 
all  ancient  Italian  cities,  of  seeing  the  Piazza  Vittorio  Em- 



manuele.  In  an  earlier  chapter  we  left  the  Baptistery  and 
walked  along  the  Via  Calzaioli.  Again  starting  fi-om  the 
Baptistery  let  us  take  the  Via  dell'  Arcivescovado,  which 
is  parallel  with  the  Via  Calzaioli,  on  the  right  of  it,  and 
again  walk  straight  forward.  We  shall  come  almost  at 
once  to  the  great  modern  square. 

No  Italian  city  or  town  is  complete  without  a  Piazza 
Vittorio  Emmanuele  and  a  statue  of  that  monarch.  In 
Florence  the  sturdy  king  bestrides  his  horse  here.  Italy 
being  so  old  and  Vittorio  Emmanuele  so  new,  it  follows  in 
most  cases  that  the  square  or  street  named  after  him  sup- 
plants an  older  one,  and  if  the  Italians  had  any  memory 
or  imaginative  interest  in  history  they  would  see  to  it  that 
the  old  name  was  not  wholly  obliterated.  In  Florence,  in 
order  to  honour  the  first  king  of  United  Italy,  much  grave 
violence  was  done  to  antiquity,  for  a  very  picturesque 
quarter  had  to  be  cleared  away  for  the  huge  brasseries, 
stores  and  hotels  which  make  up  the  west  side ;  which  in 
their  turn  marked  the  site  of  the  old  market  where 
Donatello  and  Brunelleschi  and  all  the  later  artists  of  the 
great  days  did  their  shopping  and  met  to  exchange  ideals 
and  banter ;  and  that  market  in  its  turn  marked  the  site 
of  the  Roman  forum. 

One  of  the  features  of  the  old  market  was  the  charming 
Loggia  di  Pesce ;  another,  Donatello's  figure  of  Abundance, 
surmounting  a  column.  This  figure  is  now  in  the  museum 
of  ancient  city  relics  in  the  monastery  of  S.  Marco,  where 
one  confronts  her  on  a  level  instead  of  looking  up  at  her 
in  mid  sky.     But  she  is  very  good,  none  the  less. 

In  talking  to  elderly  persons  who  can  remember  Florence 
forty  and  fifty  years  ago  I  find  that  nothing  so  distresses 
them  as  the  loss  of  the  old  quarter  for  the  making  of  this 
new  spacious  piazza  j  and  probably  nothing  can  so  delight 


the  younger  Florentines  as  its  possession,  for,  having  nothing 
to  do  in  the  evenings,  they  do  it  chiefly  in  the  Piazza 
Vittorio  Emmanuele.  Chairs  and  tables  spring  up  like 
mushrooms  in  the  roadway,  among  which  too  few  waiters 
distribute  those  very  inexpensive  refreshments  which  seem 
to  be  purchased  rather  for  the  right  to  the  seat  that  they 
confer  than  for  any  stimulation.  It  is  extraordinary  to  the 
eyes  of  the  thriftless  English,  who  are  never  so  happy  as 
when  they  are  overpaying  Italian  and  other  caterers  in 
their  own  country,  to  notice  how  long  these  wiser  folk  will 
occupy  a  table  on  an  expenditure  of  fourpence. 

I  do  not  mean  that  there  are  no  theatres  in  Florence. 
There  are  many,  but  they  are  not  very  good ;  and  the 
tyoung  men  can  do  without  them.  Curious  old  theatres, 
faded  and  artificial,  all  apparently  built  for  the  comedies 
of  Goldoni.  There  are  cinema  theatres  too,  at  prices 
which  would  delight  the  English  public  addicted  to 
those  insidious  entertainments,  but  horrify  English  mana- 
gers ;  and  the  Teatro  Salvini  at  the  back  of  the  Palazzo 
Vecchio  is  occasionally  transforined  into  a  Folies  Bergeres 
(as  it  is  called)  where  one  after  another  comediennes 
sing  each  two  or  three  songs  rapidly  to  an  audience 
who  regard  them  with  apathy  and  convei-se  without 
ceasing.  The  only  sign  of  interest  which  one  observes  is 
the  murmur  which  follows  anything  a  little  off  the  beaten 
track — ^a  sound  that  might  equally  be  encouragement  or 
disapproval.  But  a  really  pretty  woman  entering  a  box 
moves  them.  Then  they  employ  every  note  in  the  gamut ; 
and  curiously  enough  the  pretty  woman  in  the  box  is  usu- 
ally as  cool  under  the  fusillade  as  a  professional  and  hai'- 
dened  sister  would  be.  A  strange  music  hall  this  to  the 
English  eye,  where  the  orchestra  smokes,  and  no  numbere 
are  put  up,  and  every  one  talks,  and  the  intervals  seem  to 


H\    l;ArlIAKL    ]X    1  HE     ITiri 


be  hours  long.  But  the  Florentines  do  not  mind,  for  they 
have  not  the  English  thirst  for  entertainment  and  escape ; 
they  carry  their  entertainment  with  them  and  do  not  wish 
to  escape — going  to  such  places  only  because  they  are 
warmer  than  out  of  dooi's. 

Sitting  here  and  watching  their  ironical  negligence  of  the 
stage  and  their  interest  in  each  other's  company;  their 
animated  talk  and  rapid  decisions  as  to  the  merits  and 
charms  of  a  performer  ;  the  comfort  of  their  attitudes  and 
carelessness  (although  never  quite  slovenliness)  in  dress ; 
one  seems  to  realize  the  nation  better  than  anywhere.  The 
old  fighting  passion  may  have  gone ;  but  much  of  the  quick- 
ness, the  shrewdness  and  the  humour  remains,  together 
with  the  determination  of  each  man  to  have  if  possible  his 
own  way  and,  whether  possible  or  not,  his  own  say. 

Seeing  them  in  great  numbers  one  quickly  leams  and 
steadily  corroborates  the  fact  that  the  Florentines  are  not 
beautiful.  A  pr'etty  woman  or  a  handsome  man  is  a 
rarity ;  but  a  dull-looking  man  or  woman  is  equally  rare. 
They  are  shrewd,  philosophic,  cynical,  and  very  ready  for 
laughter.  They  look  contented  also  :  Florence  clearly  is 
the  best  place  to  be  bom  in,  to  live  in,  and  to  die  in.  Let  all 
the  world  come  to  Florence,  by  all  means,  and  spend  its 
money  there ;  but  don't  ask  Florence  to  go  to  the  world. 
Don't  in  fact  ask  Florence  to  do  anything  very  much. 

civilization  and  modem  conditions  have  done  the  Floren- 
tines no  good.  Their  destiny  was  to  live  in  a  walled  city 
in  turbulent  days,  when  the  foe  came  against  it,  or  tyranny 
threatened  from  within  and  had  to  be  resisted.  They 
were  then  Florentines  and  everything  mattered.  To-day 
they  are  Italians  and  nothing  matters  very  much.  More- 
over, it  must  be  galling  to  have  somewhere  in  the  recesses 
of  their  consciousness  the  knowledge  that  their  famous  city, 


built  and  cemented  with  their  ancestors'  blood,  is  now  only 
a  museum. 

When  it  is  fine  and  warm  the  music  hall  does  not  exist, 
and  it  is  in  the  Piazza  Vittorio  Emmanuele  that  the  Floren- 
tines sit  and  talk,  or  walk  and  talk,  or  listen  to  the  band 
which  periodically  inhabits  a  stand  near  the  centre ;  and 
it  was  here  that  I  watched  the  reception  of  the  news  that 
Italy  had  declared  war  on  Turkey,  a  decision  which  while 
it  rejoiced  the  national  warlike  spirit  of  the  populace 
could  not  but  carry  with  it  a  reminder  that  wars  have  to 
be  paid  for.  Six  or  seven  months  later  I  saw  the  return 
to  Florence  of  the  first  troops  from  the  war,  and  their  re- 
ception was  terrific.  In  the  mass  they  were  welcome 
enough ;  but  as  soon  as  units  cou,ld  be  separated  from  the 
mass  the  fun  began,  for  they  were  carried  shoulder  high  to 
whatever  destination  they  wanted,  their  knapsacks  and 
rifles  falling  to  proud  bearers  too ;  while  the  women  clapped 
from  the  upper  windows;  the  shrewd  shopkeepers  cheered 
from  their  doorways,  and  the  crowd  which  followed  and 
surrounded  the  hero  every  moment  increased.  As  for  the 
heroes,  they  looked  for  the  most  part  a  good  deal  less 
foolish  than  Englishmen  would  have  done ;  but  here  and 
there  was  one  whose  expression  suggested  that  the  Turks 
were  nothing  to  this.  One  poor  fellow  had  his  coat  dragged 
from  his  back  and  torn  into  a  thousand  souvenirs. 

The  restaurants  of  Florence  are  those  of  a  city  where  the 
natives  are  thiifty  and  the  visitors  dine  in  hotels.  There 
is  one  expensive  high-class  house,  in  the  Via  Tornabuoni — 
Doney  e  Nipoti  or  Doney  et  Neveux — where  the  cooking  is 
Franco-Italian,  and  the  Chianti  and  wines  are  dear  beyond 
belief,  and  the  venerable  waiters  move  with  a  deliberation 
which  can  drive  a  hungry  man — and  one  is  always  hungry 
in  this  fine  Tuscan  air — to  despair.    I  like  better  the  ex- 

"  CAMERIERE  ! "  317 

cellent  old-fashioned  purely  Italian  food  and  Chianti  and 
speed  at  Bonciani's  in  the  Via  de'  Panzani,  close  to  the 
station.  These  twain  are  the  best.  But  it  is  more  interest- 
ing to  go  to  the  huge  Gambrinus  in  the  Piazza  Vittorio 
Emmanuele,  because  so  much  is  gomg  on  all  the  time.  One 
curious  Florentine  habit  is  quickly  discovered  and  resented 
by  the  stranger  who  frequents  a  restaurant,  and  that  is 
the  system  of  changing  waiters  from  one  set  of  tables  to 
another ;  so  that  whereas  in  London  and  Paris  the  wise 
diner  is  true  to  a  corner  because  it  carries  the  same  service 
with  it,  in  Florence  he  must  follow  the  service.  But  if  the 
restaurants  have  odd  ways,  and  a  limited  range  of  dishes 
and  those  not  very  interesting,  they  make  up  for  it  by 
being  astonishingly  quick.  Things  are  cooked  almost 

The  Florentines  eat  little.  But  greediness  is  not  an 
Italian  fault.  No  greedy  people  would  have  a  five-syllabled 
word  for  waiter. 

Continuing  along  the  Via  dell'  Arcivescovado,  which 
after  the  Piazza  becomes  the  Via  Celimana,  we  come  to  that 
very  beautiful  structure  the  Mercato  Nuovo,  which,  how- 
ever, is  not  so  wonderfully  new,  having  been  built  as  long 
ago  as  1547-1551.  Its  columns  and  arched  roof  are  ex- 
quisitely proportioned.  As  a  market  it  seems  to  be  a  poor 
affair,  the  chief  commodity  being  straw  hats.  For  the 
principal  food  market  one  has  to  go  to  the  Via  d'Ariento, 
near  S.  Lorenzo,  and  this  is,  I  think,  well  worth  doing 
early  in  the  morning.  Lovers  of  Hans  Andersen  go  to 
the  Mercato  Nuovo  to  see  the  famous  bronze  boar  (or 
"  metal  pig,"  as  it  was  called  in  the  translation  on  which  I 
was  brought  up)  that  stands  here,  on  whose  back  the  little 
street  boy  had  such  adventures.  The  boar  himself  was  the 
work  of  Pietro  Tacca  (1586-1650),  a  copy  from  an  ancient 


marble  original,  now  in  the  Uffizi,  at  the  top  of  the  en- 
trance stairs  ;  but  the  pedestal  with  its  collection  of  creep- 
ing things  is  modem.  The  Florentines  who  stand  in  the 
market  niches  are  Bernardo  Cennini,  a  goldsmith  and  one  of 
Ghiberti's  assistants,  who  introduced  printing  into  Florence 
in  1471  and  began  with  an  edition  of  Virgil;  Giovanni 
Villani,  who  was  the  city's  first  serious  historian,  beginning 
in  1300  and  continuing  till  his  death  in  1348 ;  and  Michele 
Lando,  the  wool-carder,  who  on  July  £2nd,  1378,  at  the 
head  of  a  mob,  overturned  the  power  of  the  Signory. 

By  continuing  straight  on  we  should  come  to  that 
crowded  and  fussy  little  street  which  crosses  the  river  by 
the  Ponte  Vecchio  and  eventually  becomes  the  Roman 
way ;  but  let  us  instead  turn  to  the  right  this  side  of  the 
market,  down  the  Via  Porta  Rossa,  because  here  is  the 
Palazzo  Davanzati,  which  has  a  profound  interest  to  lovers 
of  the  Florentine  past  in  that  it  has  been  restored  exactly 
to  its  ancient  state  when  Pope  Eugenius  IV  lodged  here, 
a,nd  has  been  filled  with  fourteenth  and  fifteenth  century 
furniture.  In  those  days  it  was  the^  home  of  the  Davizza 
family.  The  Davanzati  bought  it  late  in  the  sixteenth 
century  and  retained  it  until  1838.  In  1904  it  was  bought 
by  Professor  Elia  Volpi,  who  restored  its  ancient  conditions 
and  presented  it  to  the  city  as  a  permanent  monument  of 
the  past. 

Hei'e  we  see  a  mediaeval  Florentine  palace  precisely  as 
it  was  when  its  Florentine  owner  lived  his  uncomfortable 
life  there.  For  say  what  one  may,  there  is  no  question  that 
life  must  have  been  uncomfortable.  In  early  and  late 
summer,  when  the  weather  was  fine  and  warm,  these  stone 
floors  and  continuous  draughts  may  have  been  solacing ; 
but  in  winter  and  early  spring,  when  Florentine  weather 
can  be  so  bitterly  hostile,  what  then  ?     That  there  was  a 


big  fire  we  know  by  the  smoky  condition  of  Michelozzo's 
charming  frieze  on  the  chimney  piece ;  but  the  room — I 
refer  to  that  on  the  first  floor — is  so  vast  that  this  fire  can 
have  done  little  for  any  one  but  an  immediate  vis-d-vis ; 
and  the  room,  moreover,  was  between  the  open  world  on 
the  one  side,  and  the  open  court  (now  roofed  in  with  glass) 
on  the  other,  with  such  additional  opportunities  for  draughts 
as  the  four  trap-dooi-s  in  the  floor  oflered.  It  was  through 
these  traps  that  the  stone  cannon-balls  still  stacked  in  the 
window  seats  were  dropped,  or  a  few  gallons  of  boiling  oil 
poured,  whenever  the  city  or  a  faction  of  it  turned  against 
the  householder.  Not  comfortable,  you  see,  at  least  not  in 
our  northern  sense  of  the  word,  although  to  the  hardy 
frugal  Florentine  it  may  have  seemed  a  haven  of  luxury. 

The  furniture  of  the  salon  is  simple  and  sparse  and  very 
hai'd.  A  bust  here,  a  picture  there,  a  coloured  plate,  a 
crucifix,  and  a  Madonna  ajid  Child  in  a  niche :  that  was 
all  the  decoration  save  tapestry.  An  hour  glass,  a  pepper 
mill,  a  compass,  an  inkstand,  stand  for  utihty,  and  quaint 
and  twisted  musical  instruments  and  a  backgammon  board 
for  beguilement. 

In  the  salle-d-manger  adjoining  is  less  light,  and  here 
also  is  a  symbol  of  Florentine  unrest  in  the  shape  of  a  hole 
in  the  wall  (beneath  the  niche  which  holds  the  Madonna 
and  Child)  through  which  the  advancing  foe,  who  had 
suqcessfully  avoided  the  cannon  balls  and  the  oil,-  might  be 
prodded  with  lances,  or  even  fired  at.  The  next  room  is 
the  kitchen,  cuiiously  far  from  the  well,  the  opening  to 
which  is  in  the  salon,  and  then  a  bedroom  (with  some  guns 
in  it)  and  smaller  rooms  gained  from  the  central  court. 

The  rest  of  the  building  is  the  same— a  series  of  self- 
contained  flats,  but  all  dipping  for  water  from  the  same 
shaft  and  all  depending  anxiously  upon  the  success  of  the 


first  floor  with  invaders.    At  the  top  is  a  beautiful  loggia 
with  Florence  beneath  it. 

The  odd  thing  to  remember  is  that  for  the  poor  of 
Florence,  who  now  inhabit  houses  of  the  same  age  as  the 
Davanzati  palace,  the  conditions  are  almost  as  they  were 
in  the  fifteenth  century.  A  few  changes  have  come  in, 
but  hardly  any.  Myriads  of  the  tenements  have  no  water 
laid  on :  it  must  still  be  pulled  up  in  buckets  exactly  as 
here.  Indeed  you  may  often  see  the  top  floor  at  work  in 
this  way  ;  and  there  is  a  row  of  houses  on  the  left  of  the 
road  to  the  Certosa,  a  little  way  out  of  Florence,  with 
a  most  elaborate  network  of  bucket  ropes  over  many 
gardens  to  one  well.  Similarly  one  sees  the  occupants  of 
the  higher  flooi-s  drawing  vegetables  and  bread  in  baskets 
from  the  street  and  lowering  the  money  for  them.  The 
postman  delivers  letters  in  this  way,  too.  Again,  one  of 
the  survivals  of  the  Davanzati  to  which  the  custodian  draws 
attention  is  the  rain-water  pipe,  like  a  long  bamboo,  down 
the  wall  of  the  court ;  but  one  has  but  to  walk  along  the 
Via  Lambertesca,  between  the  Ufiizi  and  the  Via  For  S. 
Maria,  and  peer  into  the  alleys,  to  see  that  these  pipes  are 
common  enough  yet. 

In  fact,  directly  one  leaves  the  big  streets  Florence  is 
still  fifteenth  century.  Less  colour  in  the  Costumes,  and 
a  few  anachronisms,  such  as  gas  or  electric  light,  posters, 
newspapers,  cigarettes,  and  bicycles,  which  dai"t  like  dragon 
flies  (every  Florentine  cyclist  being  a  trick  cyclist)  ;  but 
for  the  rest  there  is  no  change.  The  business  of  life  has 
not  altered  ;  the  same  food  is  eaten,  the  same  vessels  con- 
tain it,  the  same  fire  cooks  it,  the  same  red  wine  is  made 
from  the  same  grapes  in  the  same  vineyards,  the  same 
language  (almost)  is  spoken.  The  babies  are  christened 
at  the  same  font,   the  parents  visit  the  same   chxu'ches. 



Siini]arly  the  handicrafts  can  have  altered  little.  The 
coppersmith,  the  blacksmith,  the  cobbler,  the  woodcarver, 
the  goldsmiths  in  their  yellow  smocks,  must  be  just  as  they 
were,  and  certainly  the  cellars  and  caverns  under  the  big 
houses  in  which  they  work  have  not  changed.  Where  the 
change  is,  is  among  the  better-to-do,  the  rich,  and  in  the 
government.  For  no  longer  is  a  man  afraid  to  talk  freely 
of  politics  ;  no  longer  does  he  shudder  as  he  passes  the 
Bargello ;  no  longer  is  the  name  of  Medici  on  his  lips. 
Everything  else  is  practically  as  it  was. 

The  Via  Porta  Rossa  runs  to  the  Piazza  S.  Trinita,  the 
church  of  S.  Trinity  being  our  destination.  For  here  are 
some  interesting  frescoes.  First,  however,  let  us  look  at 
the  sculpture :  a  very  beautiful  altar  by  Benedetto  da 
Rovezzano  in  the  fifth  chapel  of  the  right  aisle ;  a  monu- 
ment by  Luca  della  Robbia  to  one  of  the  archbishops  of 
Fiesole,  once  in  S.  Fancrazio  (which  is  now  a  tobacco  factory) 
in  the  Via  della  Spada  and  brought  here  for  safe  keeping — 
a  beautiful  example  of  Luca's  genius,  not  only  as  a  modeller 
but  also  as  a  very  treasury  of  pretty  thoughts,  for  the 
border  of  flowei-s  and  leaves  is  beyond  praise  delightful. 
The  best  green  in  Florence  (after  Nature's,  which  is  seen 
through  so  many  dooi-ways  and  which  splashes  over  so 
many  white  walls  and  mingles  with  gay  fruits  in  so  many 
shops)  is  here. 

In  the  fifth  chapel  of  the  left  aisle  is  a  Magdalen  carved 
in  wood  by  Desiderio  da  Settignano  and  finished  by  Bene- 
detto da  Maiano  ;  while  S.  Trinity  now  possesses,  but  shows 
only  on  Good  Friday,  the  very  crucifix  from  S.  Miniato 
which  bowed  down  and  blessed  S.  Gualberto.  The  porphyry 
tombs  of  the  Sassetti,  in  the  chapel  of  that  family,  by 
Giuliano  di  Sangallo,  are  magnificent. 

It  is  in  the  Sassetti  chapel  that  we  find  the  Ghirlandaio 


frescoes  of  scenes  in  the  life  of  S.  Francis  which  bring  so 
many  strangers  to  this  church.  The  painting  which  de- 
picts S.  Francis  receiving  the  charter  from  the  Emperor 
Honorius  is  interesting  both  for  its  history  and  its  paint- 
ing ;  for  it  contains  a  valuable  record  of  what  the  Palazzo 
Vecchio  and  Loggia  de'  Lanzi  were  like  in  1485,  and  also 
many  portraits  :  among  them  Lorenzo  the  Magnificent,  on 
the  extreme  right  holding  out  his  hand ;  Poliziano,  tutor 
of  the  Medici  boys,  coming  first  up  the  stairs ;  and  on  the 
extreme  left  very  probably  Verrocchio,  oneof  Ghirlandaio's 
favourite  painters.  We  find  old  Florence  again  in  the  very 
attractive  picture  of  the  resuscitation  of  the  nice  little  girl 
in  violet,  a  daughter  of  the  Spini  family,  who  fell  from  a 
window  of  the  Spini  palace  (as  we  see  in  the  distance  on  the 
left,  this  being  one  of  the  old  synchronized  scenes)  and  was 
brought  to  life  by  S.  Francis,  who  chanced  to  be  flying  by. 
The  scene  is  intensely  local :  just  outside  the  church, 
looking  along  what  is  now  the  Piazza  S.  Trinita  and  the 
old  Trinitk  bridge.  The  Spini  palace  is  still  there,  but  is 
now  called  the  Ferroni,  and  it  accommodates  no  longer 
Florentine  aristocrats  but  consuls  and  bank  clerks.  Among 
the  poi-traits  in  the  fresco  are  noble  friends  of  the  Spini 
family — Albiizzi,  Aeciaioli,  Strozzi  and  so  forth.  The 
little  girl  is  very  quaint  and  perfectly  ready  to  take  up 
once  more  the  threads  of  her  life.  How  long  she  lived 
this  second  time  and  what  became  pf  her  I  have  not  been 
able  to  discover.  Her  tiny  sister,  behind  the  bier,  is  even 
quainter.  On  the  left  is  a  little  group  of  the  comely 
Florentine  ladies  in  whom  Ghirlandaio  so  delighted,  tall 
and  serene,  with  a  few  youths  among  them. 

It  is  interesting  to  note  that  Ghirlandaio  in  his  S.  Trinita 
frescoes  and  Benedetto  da  Maiano  in  his  S.  Croc^  pulpit 
reliefs  chose  exactly  the  same  scenes  in  the  life  of  S.  Francis : 


interesting  because  when  Ghirlandaio  was  painting  frescoes 
at  San  Gimignano  in  1475,  Benedetto  was  at  work  on  the 
altar  for  the  same  church  of  S.  Fina,  and  they  were  friends. 
Where  Ghirlandaio  and  Giotto,  also  in  S.  Croce,  also  co- 
incide in  choice  of  subject  some  interesting  comparisons 
may  be  made,  all  to  the  advantage  of  Giotto  in  spiritual 
feeling  and  unsophisticated  charm,  but  by  no  means  to 
Ghirlandaio's  detriment  as  a  fascinating  historian  in  colour. 
In  the  scene  of  the  death  of  S.  Francis  we  find  Ghir- 
landaio and  Giotto  again  on  the  same  ground,  and  here  it 
is  probable  that  the  later  painter  went  to  the  earlier  for 
inspiration ;  for  he  has  followed  Giotto  in  the  fine  thought 
that  makes  one  of  the  attendant  brothers  glance  up  as 
though  at  the  saint's  ascending  spirit.  It  is  remarkable 
how,  with  every  picture  that  one  sees,  Giotto's  complete- 
ness of  equipment  as  a  religious  painter  becomes  more 
marked.  His  hand  may  have  been  ignorant  of  many 
masterly  devices  for  which  the  time  was  not  ripe ;  but  his 
head  and  heart  knew  all. 

The  patriarchs  in  the  spandrels  of  the  choir  are  by  Ghir- 
landaio's  master,  Alessio  Ba!dovinetti,of  whom  I  said  some- 
thing in  the  chapter  on  S.  Maria  Novella.  They  once 
more  testify  to  this  painter's  charm  and  brilliance.  Almost 
more  than  that  of  any  other  does  one  regret  the  scarcity 
of  his  work.  It  was  fitting  that  he  should  have  painted 
the  choir,  for  his  name-saint,  S.  Alessio,  guards  the  fagade 
of  the  churbh. 

The  column  opposite  the  church  came  from  the  baths  of 
Caracallaand  was  set  up  by  Cosimo  I,  upon  the  attainmeni 
of  his  life-long  ambition  of  a  gi-and-dukeship  and  a  crown 
The  figure  at  the  top  is  Justice. 

S.  Trinity  is  a  good  starting-point  for  the  leisurely  ex- 
amination of  the  older  and  nan-ower  streets,  an  occupation 


which  so  many  visitors  to  Florence  prefer  to  the  study  of 
picture  galleries  and  churches.  And  perhaps  rightly.  In 
no  city  can  they  carry  on  their  researches  with  such  ease, 
for  Florence  is  incurious  about  them.  Either  the  Floren- 
tines are  too  much  engrossed  in  their  own  aflFairs  or  the 
peering  foreigner  has  become  too  familiar  an  object  to 
merit  notice,  but  one  may  drift  about  even  in  the  naiTowest 
alleys  beside  the  Arno,  east  and  west,  and  attract  few  eyes. 
And  the  city  here  is  at  its  most  romantic  :  between  the 
Piazza  S.  Trinitk  and  the  Via  Por  S.  Maria,  all  about  the 
Borgo  SS.  Apostoli. 

We  have  just  been  discussing  Benedetto  da  Maiano 
the  sculptor.  If  we  turn  to  the  left  on  leaving  S.  Trinita, 
instead  of  losing  ourselves  in  the  little  streets,  we  are  in  the 
Via  Tornabuoni,  where  the  best  shops  are  and  American  is 
the  prevailing  language.  We  shall  soon  come,  on  the  right, 
to  an  example  of  Benedetto's  work  as  an  architect,  for  the 
first  draft  of  the  famous  Palazzo  Strozzi,  the  four-square 
fortress-home  which  Filippo  Strozzi  began  for  himself 
in  1489,  was  his.  Benedetto  continued  the  work  until  his 
death  in  1507,  when  Cronaca,  who  built  the  great  hall  in 
the  Palazzo  Vecchio,  took  it  over  and  added  the  famous  cor- 
nice. The  iron  lantern  and  other  smithwork  were  by  Lor- 
enzo the  Magnificent's  sardonic  friend,  "  II  Caparro,''  of  the 
Sign  of  the  Burning  Books,  of  whom  I  wrote  in  the  chapter 
on  the  Medici  palace. 

The  first  mistress  of  the  Strozzi  palace  was  Clarice 
Strozzi,  nee  Clarice  de'  Medici,  the  daughter  of  Piero,  son 
of  Lorenzo  the  Magnificent.  She  was  bom  in  1493  and 
manied  Filippo  Strozzi  the  younger  in  1508,  during  the 
family's  second  period  of  exile.  They  then  lived  at  Rome, 
but  were  allowed  to  return  to  Florence  in  1510.  Claiice's 
chief  title  to  fame  is  her  proud  outburst  when  she  turned 


Ippolito  and  Alessandro  out  of  the'  Medici  palace.  She  died 
in  1528  and  was  buried  in  S.  Maria  Novella.  The  unfortun- 
ate Filippo  met  his  end  nine  years  later  in  the  Boboli 
fortezza,  which  his  money  had  helped  to  build  and  in 
which  he  was  imprisoned  for  his  share  in  a  conspiracy 
against  Cosimo  I.  Cosimo  confiscated  the  palace  and  all 
Strozzi's  other  possessions,  but  later  made  some  restitution. 
To-day  the  family  occupy  the  upper  part  of  their  famous 
imperishable  home,  and  beneath  there  is  an  exhibition  of 
pictures  and  antiquities  for  sale.  No  private  individual, 
whatever  his  wealth  or  ambition,  will  probably  ever  again 
succeed  in  building  a  house  half  so  strong  or  noble  as  this. 



Luca  Pitti's  i  pride — Preliminary  caution — A  terrace  view — A  collection 
but  not  a  gallery — The  personally-conducted — Giorgione  the  superb — 
Sustermans — The  "Madonna  del  Granduca" — The  "Madonna  della 
Sedia  " — From  Cimabue  to  Raphael — Andrea  del  Sarto — Two  Popes  and 
a  bastard— The  ill-fated  Ippolito — The  National  Gallery — Royal  apart- 
ments— "  Pallas  Subduing  the  Centaur  " — The  Boboli  Gardens. 

THE  Pitti  approached  from  the  Via  Guicciardini  is  far 
liker  a  prison  than  a  palace.  It  was  commissioned 
by  Luca  Pitti,  one  of  the  proudest  and  richest  of  the 
rivals  of  the  Medici,  in  144)1.  Cosimo  de'  Medici,  as  we 
have  seen,  had  rejected  Brunelleschi's  plans  for  a  palazzo 
as  being  too  pretentious  and  gone  instead  to  his  friend 
Michelozzo  for  something  that  externally  at  any  rate  was 
more  modest ;  Pitti,  whose  one  ambition  was  to  exceed 
Cosimo  in  power,  popularity,  and  visible  wealth,  deliber- 
ately chose  Brunelleschi,  and  gave  him  carte  blanche 
to  make  the  most  magnificent  mansion  possible.  Pitti, 
however,  plotting  against  Cosimo's  son  Piero,  was  frustrated 
and  condemned  to  death ;  and  although  Piero  obtained 
his  pardon  he  lost  all  his  friends  and  passed  into  utter  dis- 
respect in  the  city.  Meanwhile  his  palace  remained  un- 
finished and  neglected,  and  continued  so  for  a  century, 
when  it  was  acquired  by  the  Grand  Duchess  Eleanor  of 
Toledo,  the  wife  of  Cosimo  I,  who  though  she  saw  only 
the  beginnings  of  its  splendours  lived  there  awhile  and  there 



brought  up  her  doomed  brood.  Eleanor's  architect — or 
rather  Cosimo's,  for  though  the  Grand  Duchess  paid,  the 
Grand  Duke  controlled — was  Ammanati,  the  designer 
of  the  Neptune  fountain  in  the  Piazza  della  Signoria. 
Other  important  additions  were  made  later.  The  last 
Medicean  Grand  Duke  to  occupy  the  Pitti  was  Gian 
Gastone,  a  bizane  detrimental,  whose  head,  in  a  monstrous 
wig,  may  be  seen  at  the  top  of  the  stairs  leading  to  the 
Ufiizi  gallery.     He  died  in  1737. 

As  I  have  said  in  chapter  VIH,  it  was  by  the  will  of 
Gian  Gastone's  sister,  widow  of  the  Elector  Palatine,  who 
died  in  1743,  that  the  Medicean  collections  became  the 
property  of  the  Florentines.  This  bequest  did  not,  how- 
ever, prevent  the  migration  of  many  of  the  best  pictures 
to  Paris  under  Napoleon,  but  after  Waterloo  they  came 
back.  The  Pitti  continued  to  be  the  home  of  princes 
after  Gian  Gastone  quitted  a  world  which  he  found  strange 
and  made  more  so ;  but  they  were  not  of  the  Medici  blood. 
It  is  now  a  residence  of  the  royal  family. 

The  first  thing  to  do  if  by  evil  chance  one  enters  the 
Pitti  by  the  covered  way  from  the  Uffizi  is,  just  before 
emerging  into  the  palace,  to  avoid  the  room  where  copies 
of  pictures  are  sold,  for  not  only  is  it  a  very  catacomb  of 
headache,  from  the  fresh  paint,  but  the  copies  are  in  them- 
selves horrible  and  lead  to  disquieting  reflections  on  the 
subject  of  sweated  labour.  The  next  thing  to  do,  on  at 
last  enierging,  is  to  walk  out  on  the  roof  from  the  little 
room  at  the  top  of  the  stairs,  and  get  a  supply  of  fresh  air 
for  the  gallery,  and  see  Florence,  which  is  very  beautiful 
from  here.  Looking  over  the  city  one  notices  that  the 
tower  of  the  Palazzo  Vecchio  is  almost  more  dominating 
than  the  Duomo,  the  work  of  the  same  architect  who 
began  this  palace.      Between  the  two   is  Fiesole.      The 

328  THE  PITTI 

Signoria  tower  is,  as  I  say,  the  highest  Then  the  Duomo. 
Then  Giotto's  Campanile.  The  Bargello  is  hidden,  but 
the  gi-aceful  Badia  tower  is  seen ;  also  the  little  white 
Baptistery  roof  with  its  lantern  just  showing.  From  the 
fortezza  come  the  sounds  of  drums  and  bugles. 

Returning  from  this  terrace  we  skirt  a  vast  porphyiy 
basin  and  reach  the  top  landing  of  the  stairs  (which  was,  I 
presume,  once  a  loggia)  where  there  is  a  very  chai-ming 
marble  fountain ;  and  from  this  we  enter  the  first  room 
of  the  gallery.  The  Pitti  walls  are  so  congested  and  so 
many  of  the  pictures  so  difficult  to  see,  that  I  propose  to 
refer  only  to  those  which,  after  a  series  of  visits,  seem  to 
me  the  absolute  best.  Let  me  hasten  to  say  that  to  visit 
the  Pitti  gallery  on  any  but  a  really  bright  day  is  folly. 
The  great  windows  (which  were  to  be  larger  than  Cosimo 
de'  Medici's  doors)  are  excellent  to  look  out  of,  but  the 
rooms  are  so  crowded  with  paintings  on  walls  and  ceilings, 
and  the  curtains  are  so  absorbent  of  light,  that  unless  there 
is  sunshine  one  gropes  in  gloom.  The  only  pictures  in 
short  that  are  properly  visible  are  those  on  screens  or 
hinges  ;  and  these  are,  fortunately  almost  without  exception, 
the  best.  The  Pitti  rooms  were  never  made  for  pictures  at 
all,  and  it  is  really  absurd  that  so  many  beautiful  things 
should  be  massed  here  without  reasonable  lighting. 

The  Pitti  also  is  always  crowded.  The  Uffizi  is  never 
crowded ;  the  Accademia  is  always  comfortable ;  the  Bar- 
gello is  sparsely  attended.  But  the  Pitti  is  normally  con- 
gested, not  only  by  individuals  but  by  flocks,  whose  guides, 
speaking  broken  English,  and  sometimes  broken  American, 
lead  from  room  to  room.  I  need  hardly  say  that  they 
form  the  tightest  knots  before  the  works  of  Raphael.  All 
this  is  proper  enough,  of  course,  but  it  serves  to  render  the 
Pitti  a  difficult  gallery  rightly  to  study  pictures  in. 

THK    MAlMiNNA    I'EI.IA    SEIHA    (OF    THL    (.'IIAIR) 
Ki,-iiM   "IMF,   taixiim;  [IV   i-^  A  I' 1 1 A  !■:  I ,  l^    I  lire   rri'ii 


In  the  first  chapter  on  the  Uffizi  I  have  said  how  simple 
it  is,  in  the  Pitti,  to  name  the  best  picture  of  all,  and  how 
difiicult  in  most  galleries.  But  the  Pitti  has  one  particulai- 
jewel  which  throws  everything  into  the  background  :  the 
work  not  of  a  Florentine  but  of  a  Venetian:  "The  Con- 
cert" of  Giorgione,  which  stands  on  an  easel  in  the  Sala  di 
Martfei  It  is  true  that  modem  criticism  has  doubted  the 
Tightness  of  the  ascription,  and  many  critics,  whose  one  idea 
seems  to  be  to  deprive  Giorgione  of  any  pictures  at  all, 
leaving  him  but  a  glorious  name  without  anything  to 
account  for  it,  call  it  an  early  Titian ;  but  this  need  not 
trouble  us.  There  the  picture  is,  and  never  do  I  think  to 
see  anything  more  satisfying.  Piece  by  piece,  it  is  not 
more  than  fine  rich  painting,  but  as  a  whole  it  is  im- 
pressive and  mysterious  and  enchanting.  Pater  compares 
the  effect  of  it  to  music ;  and  he  is  right. 

The  Sala  dell'  Iliade  (the  name  of  each  room  refers 
always  to  the  ceiling  painting,  which,  however,  one  quite 
easily  forgets  to  look  at)  is  chiefly  notable  for  the  Raphael 
just  inside  the  door  :  "  La  Donna  Gravida,"  No.  229,  one 
of  his  more  realistic  works,  with  bolder  colour  than  usual 
and  harder  treatment;  rather  like  the  picture  that  has 
been  made  its  pendant,  No.  224,  an  "  Incognita  "  by  Ridolfo 
Ghulandaio,  very  fiimly  painted,  but  harder  still.  Between 
them  is  the  first  of  the  many  Pitti  Andrea  del  Sartos :  No. 
225,  an  "  Assumption  of  the  Madonna,  "  opposite  a  similar 
work  from  the  same  brush,  neither  containing  quite  the 
finest  traits  of  this  artist.  But  the  youth  with  out- 
stretched hand  at  the  tomb  is  nobly  done.  No.  265,  "  Pi'in- 
cipe  Mathias  de'  Medici,"  is  a  good  bold  Sustermans,  but 
No.  190,  on  the  opposite  wall,  is  a  far  better — a  most  charm- 
ing work  representing  the  Crown  Prince  of  Denmark,  son 
'  The  position  of  easel  pictures  in  the  Florentine  galleries  often  changes. 


of  Frederick  III.  Justus  Sustermans,  who  has  so  many  por- 
traits here  and  elsewhere  in  Florence,  was  a  Belgian,  bom 
in  1597,  who  settled  in  Florence  as  a  portrait  painter 
to  Cosimo  III.  Van  Dyck  greatly  admired  his  work  and 
painted  him.     He  died  at  Florence  in  1681. 

No.  208,  a  "Virgin  Enthroned,"  by  Fra  Bartolpmmeo,  is 
from  S.  Marco,  and  it  had  better  have  been  painted  on  the 
wall  there,  like  the  Fra  Angelicos,  and  then  the  convent 
would  have  it  still.  The  Child  is  very  attractive,  as  almost 
always  in  this  artist's  work,  but  the  picture  as  a  whole  has 
grown  rather  dingy.  By  the  window  is  a  Velasquez^  the 
first  we  have  seen  in  Florence,  a  Uttle  Philip  IV  on  his 
prancing  steed,  rather  too  small  for  its  subject,  but  very 
interesting  here  among  the  Italians. 

In  the  next  large  room — the  Sala  di  Saturno — we  come 
again  to  Raphael,  who  is  indeed  the  chief  master  of  the 
Pitti,  his  exquisite  "  Madonna  del  Granduca"  being  just  to 
the  left  of  the  door.  Here  we  have  the  simplest  colouring 
and  perfect  sweetness,  and  such  serenity  of  mastery  as  must 
be  the  despair  of  the  copyists,  who,  however,  never  cease 
attempting  it.  The  only  defect  is  a  little  clumsiness  in  the 
Madonna's  hand.  The  picture  was  lost  for  two  centuries 
and  it  then  changed  owners  for  twelve  crowns,  the  seller 
being  a  poor  woman  and  the  buyer  a  bookseller.  The 
bookseller  found  a  ready  purchaser  in  the  director  of  the 
Grand  Duke  Ferdinand  Ill's  gallery,  and  the  Grand  Duke 
so  esteemed  it  that  he  carried  it  with  him  on  all  his 
journeys,  just  as  Sir  George  Beaumont,  the  English  con- 
noisseur, never  travelled  without  a  favourite  Claude. 
Hence  its  name.  Another  Andrea  del  Sarto,  the  "  Disputa 
sulla  Trinity,"  No.  172,  is  close  by,  nobly  drawn  but  again 
not  of  his  absolute  best,  and  then  five  more  Raphaels  or 
putative  Raphaels — No.  171,   Tommaso  Inghirami ;  No. 


61,  Angelo  Doni,  the  collector  and  the  friend  of  artists,  for 
whom  Michelangelo  painted  his  "Holy  Family  "in  the 
Uffizi;  No.  59,  Maddalena  Doni;  and  above  all  No.  174,  "The 
Vision  of  Ezekiel,"  that  little  great  picture,  so  strong  and 
spirited,  and— to  coin  a  word— Sixtinish.  All  these,  I  may 
say,  are  questioned  by  experts ;  but  some  very  fine  hand  is 
to  be  seen  in  them  any  way.  Over  the  "Ezekiel "  is  still 
another.  No.  165,  the  "Madonna  detta  del  Baldacchino," 
which  is  so  much  better  in  the  photographs.  Next  this 
group— No.  164— we  find  Raphael's  friend  Perugino  with  an 
Entombment,  but  it  lacks  his  divine  glow ;  and  above  it  a 
soft  and  mellow  and  easy  Andrea  del  Sarto,  No.  163,  which 
ought  to  be  in  a  chm-ch  rather  than  here.  A  better  Per- 
ugino is  No.  42,  which  has  all  his  sweetness,  but  to  call  it  the 
Magdalen  is  surely  wrong ;  and  close  by  it  a  rather  formal 
Fra  Bartolommeo,  No.  159,  "  Gesu  Resuscitate,"  from  the 
church  of  SS.  Annunziata,  in  which  once  again  thie  babies 
who  hold  the  circular  landscape  are  the  best  part.  After 
another  doubtful  Raphael — the  sly  Cardinal  Divizio  da 
Bibbiena,  No.  158 — let  us  look  at  an  unquestioned  one,  No. 
151,  the  most  popular  picture  in  Florence,  if  not  the  whole 
world,  Raphael's  "Madonna  della  Sedia,"  that  beauti- 
ful rich  scene  of  maternal  tenderness  and  infantine  peace. 
Personally  I  do  not  find  myself  often  undei-  Raphael's  spell ; 
but  here  he  conquers.  The  Madonna  again  is  without 
enough  expression,  but  her  arms  are  right,  and  the  Child 
is  right,  and  the  colour  is  so  rich,  almost  Venetian  in  that 
odd  way  in  which  Raphael  now  and  then  could  suggest 

It  is  interesting  to  compare  Raphael's  two  famous 
Madonnas  in  this  room  :  this  one  belonging  to  his  Roman 
period  and  the  other,  opposite  it,  to  Florence,  with  the 
differences  so  marked.     For  by  the  time  he  painted  this 


he  knew  more  of  life  and  human  affection.  This  picture, 
I  suppose,  might  be  called  the  consummation  of  Renaissance 
painting  in  fullest  bloom :  the  latest  triumph  of  that  im- 
pulse. I  do  not  say  it  is  the  best ;  but  it  may  be  called 
a  crown  on  the  whole  movement  both  in  subject  and  treat- 
ment. Think  of  the  gulf  between  the  Cimabue  Madonna 
and  the  Giotto  Madonna,  side  by  side,  which  we  saw  in 
the  Accademia,  and  this.  With  so  many  vivid  sympathies 
Giotto  must  have  wanted  with  all  his  soul  to  make  the 
mother  motherly  and  the  child  childlike;  but  the  time 
was  not  yet ;  his  hand  was  neither  free  nor  fit.  Between 
Giotto  and  Raphael  had  to  come  many  things  before  such 
treatment  as  this  was  possible ;  most  of  all,  I  think,  Luca 
della  Robbia  had  to  come  between,  for  he  was  the  most 
valuable  reconciler  of  God  and  man  of  them  all.  He  was 
the  first  to  bring  a  tender  humanity  into  the  Church,  the 
first  to  know  that  a  mother's  fingers,  holding  a  baby,  sink 
into  its  soft  little  body.  Without  Luca  I  doubt  if  the 
"  Madonna  della  Sedia "  could  be  the  idyll  of  protective 
solicitude  and  loving  pride  that  it  is. 

The  Sala  di  Giove  brings  us  to  Venetian  painting  indeed, 
and  glorious  painting  too,  for  next  the  door  is  Titian's 
"Bella,"  No.,  18,  the  lady  in  the  peacock-blue  dress  with 
purple  sleeves,  all  richly  embroidered  in  gold,  whom  to  see 
once  is  to  remember  for  ever.  On  the  other  side  of  the 
door  is  Andrea's  brilliant  "  S.  John  the  Baptist  as  a  Boy," 
No.  272,  and  then  the  noblest  Fi-a  Bartolommeo  here,  a 
Deposition,  No.  64,  not  good  in  colour,  but  superbly 
drawn  and  pitiful.  In  this  room  also  is  the  monk's 
great  spirited  figure  of  S.  Marco,  for  the  convent  of  that 
name.  Between  them  is  a  Tintoretto,  No.  181,  Vin- 
cenzo  Zeino,  one  of  his  ruddy  old  men,  with  a  glimpse  of 
Venice,  under  an  angry  sky,  through  the  window.     Over 

TWO  OLD  MEN  ^3 

the  door,  No.  124,  is  an  Annunciation  by  Andrea,  with  a 
slight  variation  in  it,  for  two  angels  accompany  that  one  who 
brings  the  news,  and  the  announcement  is  made  from  the 
right  instead  of  the  left,  while  the  incident  is  being  watched 
by  some  people  on  the  terrace  over  a  classical  portico.  A 
greater  Andrea  hangs  next :  No.  128,  the  Madonna  in 
Glory,  fine  but  rather  formal,  and,  like  all  Andrea's  work, 
hall-marked  by  its  woman  type.  The  other  notable  pic- 
tures are  Raphael's  Fornarina,  No.  245,  which  is  far  more 
Venetian  than  the  "Madonna  della  Sedia,"  and  has  been 
given  to  Sebastian  del  Piombo  ;  and  the  Venetian  group  on 
the  right  of  the  door,  which  is  not  only  interesting  for  its 
own  charm  but  as  being  a  foretaste  of  the  superb  and  glori- 
ous Giorgione  in  the  Sala  di  Marte,  which  we  now  enter. 

Here  we  find  a  Rembrandt,  No.  16,  an  old  man :  age 
and  dignity  emerging  golden  from  the  gloom ;  and  as  a 
pendant  a  portrait,  with  somewhat  similar  characteristics, 
but  softer,  by  Tintoretto,  No.  83.  Between  them  is  a 
prosperous,  ruddy  group  of  scholars  by  Rubens,  who  has 
placed  a  vase  of  tulips  before  the  bust  of  Seneca.  And  we 
find  Rubens  again  with  a  sprawling,  brilliant  feat  entitled 
"The  Consequences  of  War,"  but  what  those  conse- 
quences are,  beyond  nakedness,  one  has  difficulty  in  dis- 
cerning. Raphael's  Holy  Family,  No.  94  (also  known  as 
the  "  Madonna  dell'  Impannata  "),  next  it  might  be  called 
the  perfection  of  drawing  without  feeling.  The  author 
rities  consider  it  a  school  piece:  that  is  to  say,  chiefly 
the  work  of  his  imitators.  The  vivacity  of  the  Child's  face 
is  very  remarkable.  The  best  Andrea  is  in  this  room— 
a  Holy  Family,  No.  81,  which  gets  sweeter  and  simpler 
and  richer  with  every  glance.  Other  Andreas  are  here  too, 
notably  on  the  right  of  the  further  door  a  sweet  mother 
and  sprawling,  vigorous  Child      But  every  Andrea  that  I 

884  THE  PITTI 

see  makes  me  think  more  highly  of  the  "  Madonna  della 
Sacco,"  in  the  cloisters  of  SS.  Annunziata.  Van  Dyck,  who 
painted  much  in  Italy  before  settling  down  at  the  English 
court,  we  find  in  this  room  with  a  masterly  full-length 
seated  portrait  of  an  astute  cardinal.  But  the  room's 
greatest  glory,  as  I  have  said,  is  the  Giorgione  on  the  easel. 

In  the  Sala  di  Apollo,  at  the  right  of  the  door  as  we 
enter,  is  Andrea's  portrait  of  himself,  a  serious  and  mysteri- 
ous face  shining  out  of  darkness,  and  below  it  is  Titian's 
golden  Magdalen,  No.  67,  the  same  ripe  creature  that  we 
saw  at  the  Uffizi  posing  as  Flora,  again  diffusing  Venetian 
light.  On  the  other  side  of  the  door  we  find,  for  the  first 
time  in  Florence,  Murillo,  who  has  two  groups  of  the 
Madonna  and  Child  on  this  wall,  the  better  being  No.  63, 
which  is  both  sweet  and  masterly.  In  No.  56  the  Child  be- 
comes a  pretty  Spanish  boy  playing  with  a  rosary,  and  in 
both  He  has  a  faint  nimbus  instead  of  the  halo  to  which 
we  are  accustomed.  On  the  same  wall  is  another  fine 
Andrea,  who  is  most  lavishly  represented  in  this  gallery. 
No.  58,  a  Deposition,  all  gentle  melancholy  rather  than 
grief.     The  kneeling  girl  is  very  beautiful. 

Finally  there  are  Van  Dyck's  very  charming  portrait  of 
Charles  I  of  England  and  Henrietta,  a  most  deft  and  dis- 
tinguished work,  and  Raphael's  fainous  portrait  of  Leo  X 
with  two  companions:  rather  dingy,  and  too  like  three 
persons  set  for  the  camera,  but  powerful  and  deeply  interest- 
ing to  us,  because  here  we  see  the  first  Medici  pope,  Leo  X, 
Lorenzo  de'  Medici's  son  Giovanni,  who  gave  Michelangelo 
the  commission  for  the  Medici  tombs  and  the  new  Sacristy 
of  S.  Lorenzo ;  and  in  the  young  man  on  the  Pope's 
right  hand  we  see  none  other  than  Giulio,  natural  son  of 
Giuliano  de'  Medici,  Lorenzo's  brother,  who  afterwards 
became  Pope  as  Clement  VII.     It  was  he  who  laid  siege 

'1  HE   co.\':ekt 


to  Florence  when  Michelangelo  was  called  upon  to  fortify 
it;  and  it  was  during  his  pontificate  that  Henry  VIII 
threw  off  the  shackles  of  Rome  and  became  the  Defender 
of  the  Faith.  Himself  a  bastard,  Giulio  became  the  father 
of  the  base-bom  Alessandro  of  Urbino,  first  Duke  of 
Florence,  who,  after  procuring  the  death  of  Ippolito  and 
living  a  life  of  homble  excess,  was  himself  murdered  by  his 
cousin  Lorenzino  in  order  to  rid  Florence  of  hei-  worst 
tyrant.  In  his  portrait  Leo  X  has  an  illuminated  missal 
and  a  magnifying  glass,  as  indication  of  his  scholarly  tastes. 
That  he  was  also  a  good  liver  his  form  and  features  testify. 

Of  this  picture  an  interesting  story  is  told.  After  the 
battle  of  Pa  via,  in  1525,  Clement  VII  wishing  to  be  friendly 
with  the  Marquis  of  Gonzaga,  a  powerful  ally  of  the 
Emperor  Charles  V,  asked  him  what  he  could  do  for  him, 
and  Gonzaga  expressed  a  wish  for  the  portrait  of  Leo  X, 
then  in  the  Medici  palace.  Clement  complied,  but  wishing 
to  retain  at  any  rate  a  semblance  of  the  original,  directed 
that  the  picture  should  be  copied,  and  Andrea  del  Sarto 
was  chosen  for  that  task.  The  copy  turned  out  to  be  so 
close  that  Gonzaga  nevei-  obtained  the  original  at  all. 

In  the  next  room — the  Sala  di  Venere,  and  the  last  room 
in  the  long  suite — we  find  another  Raphael  portrait,  and 
another  Pope,  this  time  Julius  II,  that  Pontiff  vyhose 
caprice  and  pride  together  rendered  null  and  void  and  un- 
happy so  many  years  of  Michelangelo's  life,  since  it  was  for 
him  that  the  great  Julian  tomb,  never  completed,  was 
designed.  A  replica  of  this  picture  is  in  our  National 
Gallery.  Here  also  are  a  wistful  and  poignant  John  the 
Baptist  by  Dossi,  No.  380 ;  two  Diirers— an  Adam  and  an 
Eve,  very  naked  and  primitive,  facing  each  other  from 
opposite  walls ;  and  two  Rubens  landscapes  not  equal  to 
ours  at  Trafalgar  Square,  but  spacious  and  lively.     The 

336  THE  PITTI 

gem  of  the  room  is  a  lovely  Titian,  No.  92,  on  an  easel,  a 
golden  work  of  supreme  quietude  and  disguised  power.  The 
portrait  is  called  sometimes  the  Duke  of  Norfolk,  some- 
times the  "Young  Englishman", 

Returning  to  the  first  room — the  Sala  of  the  Iliad — we 
enter  the  Sala  dell'  Educazione  di  Giove,  and  find  on  the 
left  a  little  gipsy  portrait  by  Boccaccio  Boccaccino  (1497- 
1518)  which  has  extraordinary  charm :  a  grave,  wistful, 
childish  face  in  a  blue  handkerchief :  quite  a  new  kind  of 
picture  here.  I  reproduce  it  in  this  volume,  but  it  wants 
its  colour.  For  the  rest,  the  room  belongs  to  less-known 
and  later  men,  in  particular  to  Cristofano  AUori  (1677- 
1621),  with  his  famous  Judith,  reproduced  in  all  the  picture 
shops  of  Florence.  This  work  is  no  favourite  of  mine,  but 
one  cannot  deny  it  power  and  richness.  The  Guido  Reni 
opposite,  in  which  an  affected  fat  actress  poses  as  Cleo- 
patra with  the  asp,  is  not,  however,  even  tolerable. 

We  next  pass,  after  a  glance  perhaps  at  the  adjoining 
tapestry  room  on  the  left  (where  the  bronze  Cain  and 
Abel  are),  the  most  elegant  bathroom  imaginable,  fit  for 
anything  rather  than  soap  and  splashes,  and  come  to  the 
Sala  di  Ulisse  and  some  good  Venetian  portraits :  a  beaixled 
senator  in  a  sable  robe  by  Paolo  Veronese,  No.  216,  and, 
No.  201,  Titian's  fine  portrait  of  the  ill-fated  Ippolito  de' 
Medici,  son  of  that  Giuliano  de'  Medici,  Due  de  Nemours, 
whose  tomb  by  Michelangelo  is  at  S.  Lorenzo.  This 
amiable  young  man  was  brought  up  by  Leo  X  until  the 
age  of  twelve,  when  the  Pope  died,  and  the  boy  was  sent  to 
Florence  to  live  at  the  Medici  palace,  with  the  base-bom 
Alessandro,  under  the  care  of  Cardinal  Passerini,  where  he 
remained  until  Clarice  de'  Strozzi  ordered  both  the  boys  to 
quit.  In  1527  came  the  third  expulsion  of  the  Medici 
from  Florence,  and  Ippolito  wandered  about  until  Clement 


VII,  the  second  Medici  Pope,  was  in  Rome,  after  the  sack, 
and,  joining  him  there,  he  was,  against  his  will,  made  a 
cardinal,  and  sent  to  Hungary:  Clement's  idea  being  to 
establish  Alessandro  (his  natural  son)  as  Duke  of  Florence, 
and  squeeze  Ippolito,  the  rightful  heir,  out.  This,  Clement 
succeeded  in  doing,  and  the  repulsive  and  squalid-minded 
Alessandro — known  as  the  Mule — was  installed.  Ippolito, 
in  whom  this  pi'oceeding  caused  deep  grief,  settled  in 
Bologna  and  took  to  scholarship,  among  other  tasks  trans- 
lating part  of  the  .(Eneid  into  Italian  blank  verse ;  but 
when  Clement  died  and  thus  liberated  Rome  from  a  vile 
tyranny,  he  was  with  him  and  protected  his  corpse  from 
the  angry  mob.  That  was  in  1534,  when  Ippolito  was 
twenty-seven.  In  the  following  year  a  number  of  exiles 
from  Florence  who  could  not  endure  Alessandro's  offensive 
ways,  or  had  been  forced  by  him  to  fly,  decided  to  appeal 
to  the  Emperor  Charles  V  for  assistance  against  such  a 
contemptible  ruler ;  and  Ippolito  headed  the  mission ;  but 
before  he  could  reach  the  Emperor  an  emissary  of  Ales- 
sandro's succeeded  in  poisoning  him.  Such  was  Ippolito 
de'  Medici,  grandson  of  the  great  Lorenzo,  whom  Titian 
painted,  probably  when  he  was  in  Bologna,  in  1533  or  1534. 

This  room  also  contains  a  nice  little  open  decorative 
scene-^like  a  sketch  for  a  fresco — of  the  Death  of  Lucrezia, 
No.  888,  attributed  to  the  School  of  Botticelli,  and  above  it 
a  good  Royal  Academy  Andrea  del  Sai-to. 

The  next  is  the  best  of  these  small  rooms — ^the  Sala  of 
Prometheus — where  on  Sundays  most  people  spend  their 
time  in  astonishment  over  the  inlaid  tables,  but  where 
Tuscan  art  also  is  very  beautiful.  The  most  famous  picture 
is,  I  suppose,  the  circular  FiUppino  Lippi,  No.  343,  but 
although  the  lively  background  is  very  entertaining  and 
the  Virgin  most  wonderfully  painted,  the  Child  is  a  serious 


338  THE  PITTI 

blemish.  The  next  favourite,  if  not  the  first,  is  the  Perugino 
on  the  easel — No.  219 — one  of  his  loveliest  small  pictures, 
with  an  evening  glow  among  the  Apennines  such  as 
no  other  painter  could  capture.  Other  fine  works  here  are 
the  Fra  Bartolommeo,  No.  256,  over  the  door,  a  Holy 
Family,  very  pretty  and  characteristic,  and  his  "Ecce 
Homo,"  next  it ;  the  adorable  circular  Botticini  (as  the  cata- 
logue calls  it,  although  the  photographere  waver  between 
Botticelli  and  Filippino  Lippi),  No.  347,  with  its  myriad 
roses  and  children  with  their  little  folded  hands  and  the 
Mother  and  Child  diffusing  happy  sweetness,  which,  if 
only  it  were  a  little  less  painty,  would  be  one  of  the  chief 
magnets  of  the  gallery. 

Hereabout  are  many  Botticelli  school  pictures,  chief  of 
these  the  curious  girl,  called  foolishly  "La  Bella  Simonetta," 
which  Mr.  Berenson  attributes  to  that  unknown  disciple 
of  Botticelli  to  whom  he  has  given  the  charming  name 
of  Amico  di  Sandro.  This  study  in  browns,  yellow,  and 
grey  always  has  its  public.  Other  popular  Botticelli  de- 
rivatives are  Nos.  348  and  357.  Look  also  at  the  sly  and 
curious  woman  (No.  102),  near  the  window,  by  Ubertini, 
a  new  artist  here ;  and  the  pretty  Jacopo  del  Sellaio,  No. 
364 ;  a  finely  drawn  S.  Sebastian  by  PoUaiuolo ;  the  Holy 
Family  by  Jacopo  di  Boateri,  No.  362,  with  very  pleasant 
colouring ;  No.  140,  the  "  Incognita,"  which  people  used 
to  think  was  by  Leonardo — for  some  reason  difficult  to 
understand  except  on  the  principle  of  making  the  wish 
father  to  the  thought — and  is  now  given  to  Bugiardini ; 
and  lastly  a  rich  and  comely  example  of  Lombardy  art, 
No.  299. 

From  this  room  we  will  enter  first  the  Corridio  delle 
Colonne  where  Cardinal  Leopoldo  de'  Medici's  miniature 
portraits  are  hung,  all  remarkable  and  some  superb,  but 


unfortunately  not  named,  together  with  a  few  larger  works, 
all  very  interesting.  That  Young  Goldsmith,  No.  207, 
which  used  to  be  given  to  Leonardo  but  is  now  Ridolfo 
Ghirlandaio's,  is  here ;  a  Franciabigio,  No.  43  ;  a  ques- 
tioned Raphael,  No.  44 ;  a  fine  and  sensitive  head  of  one 
of  the  Gonzaga  family  by  Mantegna,  No.  375  ;  the  coarse 
head  of  Giovanni  Bentivoglio  by  da  Costa,  No.  376 ;  and 
a  Pollaiuolo,  No.  370,  S.  Jerome,  whose  fine  rapt  counten- 
ance is  beautifully  drawn. 

In  the  Sala  della  Giustizia  we  come  again  to  the  Vene- 
tians :  a  noble  Piombo,  No.  409  ;  the  fine  Aretino  and 
Tommaso  Mosti  by  Titian  ;  Tintoretto's  portrait  of  a  man. 
No.  410  ;  and  two  good  Moronis.  But  I  am  not  sure  that 
Dosso  Dossi's  "Nymph  and  Satyr"  on  the  easel  is  not  the 
most  remarkable  achievement  here.  I  do  not,  however,  care 
greatly  for  it. 

In  the  Sala  di  Flora  we  find  some  interesting  Andreas  ; 
a  beautiful  portrait  by  Puhgo,  No.  184;  and  Giulio 
Romano's  famous  frieze  of  dancers.  Also  a  fine  portrait 
by  Allori,  No.  72.  The  end  room  of  all  is  notable  for  a 

Finally  there  is  the  Sala  del  Poccetti,  out  of  the  Sala  di 
Prometeo,  which,  together  with  the  preceding  two  rooms 
that  I  have  described,  has  lately  been  rearranged.  Here 
now  is  the  hard  but  masterly  Holy  Family  of  Bronzino, 
who  has  an  enormous  amount  of  work  in  Florence,  chiefly 
Medicean  portraits,  but  nowhere,  I  think,  reaches  the  level 
of  his  "  Allegory  "  in  our  National  Gallery,  or  the  portrait 
in  the  Taylor  collection  sold  at  Christie's  in  1912.  Here 
also  are  four  rich  Poussins  ;  two  typical  Salvator  Rosa  land- 
scapes and  a  battle  piece  from  the  same  hand ;  and,  by 
some  strange  chance,  a  portrait  of  Oliver  Cromwell  by  Sir 
Peter  Lely.     But  the  stone  table  again  wins  most  attention. 

340  THE  PITTI 

And  here,  as  we  leave  the  last  of  the  great,  pictui-e  col- 
lections of  Florence,  I  would  say  how  interesting  it  is  to  the 
returned  visitor  to  London  to  go  quickly  to  the  National 
Gallery  and  see  how  we  compare  with  them.  Florence  is 
naturally  far  richer  than  we,  but  although  only  now  and 
then  have  we  the  advantage,  we  can  valuably  supplement 
in  a  great  many  cases.  And  the  National  Galleiy  keeps 
up  its  quality  throughout — it  does  not  suddenly  fall  to 
pieces  as  the  Uffizi  does.  Thus,  I  doubt  if  Florence  with 
all  her  Andreas  has  so  exquisite  a  thing  from  his  hand  as 
our  portrait  of  a  "  Young  Sculptor,"  so  long  called  a  por- 
trait of  the  painter  himself;  and  we  have  two  Michelangelo 
paintings  to  the  Uffizi's  one.  In  Leonardo  the  Louvre  is 
of  course  far  richer,  even  without  the  Gioconda,  but  we 
have  at  Burlington  House  the  cartoon  for  the  Louvre's 
S.  Anne  which  may  pair  off  with  the  UfRzi's  unfinished 
Madonna,  and  we  have  also  at  the  National  Gallery  his 
finished  "  Virgin  of  the  Rocks,"  while  to  Burlington  House 
one  must  go  too  for  Michelangelo's  beautiful  tondo.  In 
Piero  di  Cosimo  we  are  more  fortunate  than  the  Uflizi ;  and 
we  have  Raphaels  as  important  as  those  of  the  Pitti.  We 
are  strong  too  in  Perugino,  Filippino  Lippi,  and  Luca 
Signorelli,  while  when  it  comes  to  Piero  della  Francesca  we 
lead  absolutely.  Our  Verrocchio,  or  School  of  Verrocchio, 
is  a  superb  thing,  while  our  Cimabue  (from  S.  Croce)  has  a 
quality  of  richness  not  excelled  by  any  that  I  have  seen 
elsewhere.     But  in  Botticelli  Florence  wins. 

The  Pitti  palace  contains  also  the  apartments  in  which 
the  King  and  Queen  of  Italy  reside  when  they  visit  Florence, 
which  is  not  often.  Florence  became  the  capital  of  Italy 
in  1866,  on  the  day  of  the  sixth  anniversary  of  the  birth 
of  Dante.  It  remained  the  capital  until  1870,  when 
Rome  was  chosen.     The  rooms  are  shown  thrice  a  week, 

FkOM  TMi^  rAi\"riN(i  HV  iii"^"r"riciM  in    tk 

THE  "PALLAS"  341 

and  are  not,  I  think,  worth  the  time  that  one  must  give  to 
the  perambulation.  Beyond  this  there  is  nothing  to  say, 
except  that  they  would  delight  children.  Visitors  are 
hui-ried  thiough  in  small  bands,  and  dallying  is  discouraged. 
Hence  one  is  merely  tantalized  by  the  presence  of  theii- 
greatest  treasure,  Botticelli's  "Pallas  subduing  the  Cen- 
taur," painted  to  commemorate  Lorenzo  de'  Medici's  suc- 
cessful diplomatic  mission  to  the  King  of  Naples  in  1480, 
to  bring  about  the  end  of  the  war  with  Sixtus  IV,  the 
prime  instigator  of  the  Pazzi  Conspiracy  and  the  bitter 
enemy  of  Lorenzo  in  particular — whose  only  fault,  as  he 
drily  expressed  it,  had  been  to  "  escape  being  murdered  in 
the  Cathedral " — and  of  all  Tuscany  in  general.  Botticelli, 
whom  we  have  already  seen  as  a  Medicean  allegorist, 
always  ready  with  his  glancing  genius  to  extol  and  com- 
mend the  virtues  of  that  family,  here  makes  the  centaur 
typify  war  and  oppression  while  the  beautiful  figure  which 
is  taming  and  subduing  him  by  reason  represents  Pallas,  or 
the  arts  of  peace,  here  identifiable  with  Lorenzo  by  the 
laurel  wreath  and  the  pattern  of  her  robe,  which  is  com 
posed  of  his  private  crest  of  diamond  rings  intertwined. 
This  exquisite  picture — so  rich  in  colour  and  of  such  power 
and  impressiveness — ought  to  be  removed  to  an  easel  in 
the  Pitti  Gallery  proper.  The  "Madonna  della  Rosa," 
by  Botticelli  or  his  School,  is  also  here,  and  I  had  a 
moment  before  a  very  alluring  Holbein.  But  my  memory 
of  this  part  of  the  palace  is  made  up  of  gilt  and  tinsel  and 
plush  and  candelabra,  with  two  pieces  of  furniture  out- 
standing— a  blue  and  silver  bed,  and  a  dining  table  rather 
lai-ger  than  a  lawn- tennis  court. 

The  Boboli  gardens,  which  climb  the  hill  from  the  Pitti, 
are  also  opened  only  on  three  afternoons  a  week.  The 
panorama  of  Florence  and  the  surrounding  Apennines 

848  THE  PITTI 

which  one  has  from  the  Belvedere  makes  a  visit  worth 
while ;  but  the  gardens  themselves  are,  from  the  English 
point  of  view,  poor,  save  in  extent  and  in  the  groves  on  the 
way  to  the  stables  (scudeiie).  Like  all  gardens  where 
clipped  walks  are  the  principal  feature,  they  want  people. 
They  were  made  for  people  to  enjoy  them,  rather  than  for 
flowei-s  to  grow  in,  and  at  every  turn  there  is  a  new  and 
charming  vista  in  a  green  frame. 

It  was  from  the  Boboli  hill-side  before  it  was  a  garden 
that  much  of  the  stone  of  Florence  was  quamed.  With 
such  stones  so  near  it  is  less  to  be  wondered  at  that  the 
buildings  are  what  they  are.  And  yet  it  is  wonderful  too — 
that  these  little  inland  Italian  citizens  should  so  have 
built  their  houses  for  all  time.  It  proves  them  to  have 
had  great  gifts  of  chai'acter.  There  is  no  such  building 
any  more. 

The  Grotto  close  to  the  Pitti  entrance,  which  contains 
some  of  Michelangelo's  less  remarkable  "Prisoners,"  in- 
tended for  the  gieat  Julian  tomb,  is  so  "  grottesque  "  that  the 
statues  are  almost  lost,  and  altogether  it  is  rather  an 
Old  Rye  House  affair ;  and  though  Giovanni  da  Bologna's 
fountain  in  the  midst  of  a  lake  is  very  fine,  I  doubt  if  the 
walk  is  quite  worth  it.  My  advice  rather  is  to  climb  at 
once  to  the  top,  at  the  back  of  the  Pitti,  by  way  of  the 
amphitheatre  where  the  gentlemen  and  ladies  used  to  watch 
court  pageants,  and  past  that  ingenious  fountain  above  it, 
in  which  Neptune's  trident  itself  spouts  water,  and  rest 
in  the  pretty  flower  garden  on  the  very  summit  of  the  hill, 
among  the  lizards.  There,  seated  on  the  wall,  you  may 
watch  the  peasants  at  work  in  the  vineyards,  and  the  white 
oxen  ploughing  in  the  olive  groves,  in  the  valley  between 
this  hill  and  S.  Miniato.  In  spring  the  contrast  between 
the  greens  of  the  crops  and  the  silver  grey  of  the  olives  is 


vivid  and  gladsome  ;  in  September,  one  may  see  the  grapes 
being  picked  and  piled  into  the  barrels,  immediately  below, 
and  hear  the  squdge  as  the  wooden  pestle  is  driven  into 
the  purple  mass  and  the  juice  gushes  out. 



Casa  Guidi  —  The  Brownings  —  Giotto's  missing  spire  —  James 
Russell  Lowell — Landor's  early  life — Fra  Bartolommeo  before  Raphael — 
The  Tuscan  gardener — The  "  Villa  Landor  "  to-day — Storms  on  the  hill- 
side— Pastoral  poetry — Italian  memories  in  England — The  final  outburst 
— Last  days  in  Florence — The  old  lion's  beguilements — The  famous 


ON  a  house  in  the  Piazza  S.  Felice,  obliquely  facing  the 
Pitti,  with  windows  both  in  the  Via  Maggio  and 
Via  Mazzetta,  is  a  tablet,  placed  there  by  grateful  Florence, 
stating  that  it  was  the  home  of  Robert  and  of  Elizabeth 
Barrett  Browning  and  that  her  verse  made  a  golden  ring 
to  link  England  to  Italy.  In  other  words,  this  is  Casa 

A  third  member  of  the  family.  Flush  the  spaniel,  was 
also  with  them,  and  they  moved  here  in  1848,  and  it 
was  here  that  Mrs.  Browning  died,  in  1861.  But  it  was 
not  their  fii'st  Florentine  home,  for  in  1847  they  had  gone 
into  rooms  in  the  Via  delle  Belle  Donne — the  Street  of 
Beautiful  Ladies — whose  name  so  fascinated  Ruskin,  near 
S,  Maria  Novella.  At  Casa  Guidi  Browning  wrote,  among 
other  poems,  "Christmas  Eve  and  Easter  Day,"  "The 
Statue  and  the  Bust "  of  which  I  have  said  something  in 
chapter  XIX,  and  the  "Old  Pictures  in  Florence,"  that 
philosophic  commentaiy  on  Vasari,  which  ends  with  the 
spirited  lappeal  for  the  crowning  of  Giotto's  Campanile  with 



the  addition  of  the  golden  spire  that  its  builder  intended — 

Fine  as  the  beak  of  a  young  beccaccia 
The  campanile,  the  Duomo's  fit  ally, 

Shall  soar  up  in  gold  full  fifty  braccia, 
Completing  Florence,  as  Florence  Italy. 

But  I  suppose  that  the  monologues  "  Andrea  del  Sarto " 
and  "Fra  Lippo  Lippi"  would  be  considered  the  finest 
fruit  of  Browning's  Florentine  sojourn,  as  "Casa  Guidi 
Windows  "  is  of  Mrs.  Browning's.  Her  great  poem  is  indeed 
as  passionate  a  plea  for  Italian  liberty  as  anything 
by  an  Italian  poet.  Here  also  she  wrote  much  if  not  all 
of  "Aurora  Leigh,"  "The  Poems  before  Congress,"  and 
those  other  Italian  political  pieces  which  when  her  husband 
collected  them  as  "  Last  Poems  "  he  dedicated  "  to  '  grate- 
ful Florence '". 

In  these  Casa  Guidi  rooms  the  happiest  days  of  both 
lives  were  spent,  and  many  a  time  have  the  walls  resounded 
to  the  great  voice,  laughing,  praising  or  condemning,  of 
Walter  Savage  Landor;  while  the  shy  liawthorne  has 
talked  here  too.  Casa  Guidi  lodged  not  only  the  Brown- 
ings, but,  at  one  time,  Lowell,  who  was  not,  however,  a 
very  good  Florentine.  "  As  for  pictures,"  I  find  him  writ- 
ing, in  1874,  on  a  later  visit,  "  I  am  tired  to  death  of  'em, 
.  .  ,  and  then  most  of  them  are  so  bad.  I  like  best  the 
earlier  ones,  that  say  so  much  in  their  half-unconscious 
prattle,  and  talk  nature  to  me  instead  of  high  art."  But 
"the  older  streets,"  he  says,  "have  a  noble  mediaeval 
distance  and  reserve  for  me — a  frown  I  was  going  to  call  it, 
not  of  hostility,  but  of  haughty  doubt.  These  grim  palace 
fronts  meet  you  with  an  aristocratic  start  that  puts  you  to 
the  proof  of  your  credentials.  There  is  to  me  something 
wholesome  in  that  that  makes  you  feel  your  place." 

The  Brownings  are  the  two  English  poets  who   first 


spring  to  mind  in  connexion  with  Florence ;  but  they  had 
had  very  illustrious  predecessors.  In  August  and  Septem- 
ber, 16S8,  during  the  reign  of  Ferdinand  II,  John  Milton 
was  here,  and  again  in  the  spring  of  1639.  He  I'ead  Latin 
poems  to  fellow-scholara  in  the  city  and  received  compli- 
mentary sonnets  in  reply.  Here  he  met  Galileo,  and  fi'om 
here  he  made  the  excursion  to  Vallombrosa  which  gave 
him  some  of  his  most  famous  lines.  He  also  learned  enough 
of  the  language  to  write  love  poetry  to  a  lady  in  Bologna, 
although  he  is  said  to  have  offended  Italians  generally  by 
his  strict  morality. 

Skipping  a  hundred  and  eighty  years  we  find  Shelley  in 
Florence,  in  1819,  and  it  was  here  that  his  son  was  born, 
receiving  the  names  Percy  Florence.  Here  he  wrote,  as  I 
have  said,  his  "  Ode  to  the  West  Wind  "  and  that  grimly 
comic  work  "Peter  Bell  the  Third  ". 

But  next  the  Brownings  it  is  Walter  Savage  Landor  of 
whom  I  always  think  as  the  greatest  English  Florentine. 
Florence  became  his  second  home  when  he  was  middle-aged 
and  strong ;  and  then  again,  when  he  was  a  very  old  man, 
shipwrecked  by  his  impulsive  and  impossible  temper,  it 
became  his  last  haven.  It  was  Browning  who  found  him 
his  final  resting-place — a  floor  of  rooms  not  far  from  where 
we  now  stand,  in  the  Via  Nunziatina. 

Florence  is  so  intimately  associated  with  Landor,  and 
Landor  was  so  happy  in  Florence,  that  a  brief  outline  of 
his  life  seems  to  be  imperative.  Born  in  1775,  the  heir  to 
considerable  estates,  the  boy  soon  developed  that  whirl- 
wind headstrong  impatience  which  was  to  make  him  as 
notorious  as  his  exquisite  genius  has  made  him  famous. 
He  was  sent  toiRugby,  but  disapproving  of  the  headmaster's 
judgment  of  his  Latin  verses,  he  produced  such  a  lampoon 
upon  him,  also  in  Latin,  as  made  removal  or  expulsion  a 


necefssity.  At  Oxford  his  Latin  and  Greek  verses  were 
still  his  delight,  but  he  took  also  to  politics,  was  called  a 
mad  Jacobin,  and,  in  order  to  prove  his  sanity  and  show  his 
disapproval  of  a  person  obnoxious  to  him,  fired  a  gun  at  his 
shutters  and  was  sent  down  for  a  year.  He  never  returned. 
After  a  period  of  strained  relations  with  his  father  and  hot 
repudiations  of  all  the  plans  for  his  future  which  were 
made  for  him — such  as  entering  the  militia,  reading  law, 
and  so  forth — he  retired  to  Wales  on  a  small  allowance 
and  wrote  "Gebir"  which  came  out  in  1798,  when  its 
author  was  twenty-three.  In  1808  Landor  threw  in  his 
lot  with  the  Spaniards  against  the  French,  saw  some  fight- 
ing and  opened  his  pui-se  for  the  victims  of  the  war ;  but 
the  usual  personal  quarrel  intervened.  Retmning  to 
England  he  bought  Llanthony  Abbey,  stocked  it  with 
Spanish  sheep,  planted  extensively,  and  was  to  be  the  squire 
of  squires  ;  and  at  the  same  time  seeing  a  pretty  peimiless 
gii-1  at  a  ball  in  Bath,  he  made  a  bet  he  would  marry  her, 
and  won  it  As  a  squire  he  became  quickly  involved  with 
neighbours  (an  inevitable  proceeding  with  him)  and  also 
with  a  Bishop  concerning  the  restoration  of  the  church. 
Lawsuits  followed,  and  such  expenses  and  vexations  oc- 
ciuTed  that  Landor  decided  to  leave  England — always  a 
popular  resource  with  his  kind.  His  mother  took  over 
the  estate  and  allowed  him  an  income  upon  which  he 
travelled  from  place  to  place  for  a  few  years,  quarrelling 
with  his  wife  and  making  it  up,  writing  Latin  verses  every- 
where and  on  everything,  and  coming  into  collision  not 
only  with  individuals  but  with  municipalities. 

He  settled  in  Florence  in  1821,  finding  rooms  in  the  Pa- 
lazzo Medici,  or,  rather,  Riccardi.  There  he  remained  for 
five  years,  which  no  doubt  would  have  been  a  longer  period 
had  he  not  accused  iis  landlord,  the  Marquis,  who  was  then 


the  head  of  the  family,  of  seducing  away  his  coachman. 
Lander  wrote  stating  the  charge ;  the  Marquis,  calling  in 
reply,  entered  the  room  with  his  hat  on,  and  Landor  first 
knocked  it  ofF  and  then  gave  notice.  It  was  at  the  Palazzo 
Medici  that  Landor  was  visited  by  Hazlitt  in  1825,  and 
here  also  he  began  the  "  Imaginary  Conversations,"  his  best- 
known  work,  although  it  is  of  course  such  brief  and  faultless 
lyrics  as  "Rose  Aylmer"  and  "To  lanthe"  that  have 
given  him  his  widest  public. 

On  leaving  the  Palazzo,  Landor  acquired  the  Villa 
Gherardesca,  on  the  hill-side  below  Fiesole,  and  a  very 
beautiful  little  estate  in  which  the  stream  Affrico  rises. 

Crabb  Robinson,  the  friend  of  so  many  men  of  genius, 
who  was  in  Florence  in  1880,  in  rooms  at  184il  Via  della 
Nuova  Vigna,  met  Landor  frequently  at  his  villa  and  has 
left  his  impressions.  Landor  had  made  up  his  mind  to  live 
and  die  in  Italy,  but  hated  the  Italians.  He  would  rather, 
he  said,  follow  his  daughter  to  the  grave  than  to  her  wed- 
ding with  an  Italian  husband.  Talking  on  art,  he  said  he 
preferred  John  of  Bologna  to  Michelangelo,  a  statement 
he  repeated  to  Emerson,  but  afterwards,  I  believe,  re- 
canted. He  said  also  to  Robinson  that  he  would  not  give 
jPIOOO  for  Raphael's  "  Transfiguration,"  but  ten  times  that 
sum  for  Fra  Bartolommeo's  picture  of  S.  Mark  in  the  Pitti. 
Next  to  Raphael  and  Fra  Bartolommeo  he  loved  Perugino. 

Landor  soon  became  quite  the  husbandman.  Writing 
to  his  sisters  in  1831,  he  says :  "  I  have  planted  200  cypresses, 
600  vines,  400  roses,  200  arbutuses,  and  70  bays,  besides 
laurustinas,  etc.,  etc.,  and  60  fruit  ti-ees  of  the  best  qualities 
from  France.  I  have  not  had  a  moment's  illness  since  I 
resided  here,  nor  have  the  children.  My  wife  runs  after 
colds ;  it  would  be  strange  if  she  did  not  take  them ;  but 
she  has  taken  none  here ;  hers  are  all  from  Florence.     I 


have  the  best  water,  the  best  aii-,  and  the  best  oil  in  the 
world.  They  speak  highly  of  the  wine  too ;  but  here  I 
doubt.     In  fact,  I  hate  wine,  unless  hock  or  claret.  .  .  . 

"Italy  is  a  fine  climate,  but  Swansea  better.  That 
however  is  the  only  spot  in  Great  Britain  where  we  have 
warmth  without  wet.  Still,  Italy  is  the  country  I  would 
live  in.  .  .  .  In  two  [years]  I  hope  to  have  a  hundred  good 
peaches  every  day  at  table  during  two  months :  at  present 
I  have  had  as  many  bad  ones.  My  land  is  said  to  produce 
the  best  figs  in  Tuscany ;  I  have  usually  six  or  seven 
bushels  of  them." 

I  have  walked  through  Landor's  little  paradise — now 
called  the  Villa  Landor  and  reached  by  the  narrow  rugged 
road  to  the  right  just  below  the  village  of  S.  Domenico. 
Its  cypresses,  planted,  as  I  imagine,  by  Landor's  own  hand, 
are  stately  as  minarets  and  its  lawn  is  as  gi-een  and  soft  as 
that  of  an  Oxford  college.  The  orchard,  in  April, 
was  a  mass  of  blossom.  Thrushes  sang  in  the  evergreens 
and  the  first  swallow  of  the  year  darted  through  the 
cypresses  just  as  we  reached  the  gates.  It  is  truly  a  poet's 
house  and  garden. 

In  1833  a  French  neighbour  accused  Landor  of  robbing 
him  of  water  by  stopping  an  underground  stream,  and  Landor 
naturally  challenged  him  to  a  duel.  The  meeting  was 
avoided  through  the  tact  of  Landor's  second,  the  English 
consul  at  Florence,  and  the  two  men  became  friends.  At  his 
villa  Landor  wrote  much  of  his  best  prose — the  "  Pentam- 
eron,"  "Pericles  and  Aspasia  "  and  the  "  Ti-ial  of  Shakespeare 
for  Deer-stealing  " — and  he  was  in  the  main  happy,  having  so 
much  planting  and  harvesting  to  do,  his  children  to  play 
with,  and  now  and  then  a  visitor.  In  the  main  too  he 
managed  very  well  with  the  country  people,  but  one  day 
was  amused  to  overhear  a  convenation  over  the  hedge  be- 


tween  two  passing  contadini.  "  All  the  English  are  mad," 
said  one,  "but  as  for  this  one  .  .  .  ! "  There  was  a  story 
of  Landor  cuiTent  in  Florence  in  those  days  which  depicted 
him,  fmious  with  a  spoiled  dish,  throwing  his  cook  out 
of  the  window,  and  then,  realizing  where  he  would  fall,  ex- 
claiming in  an  agony,  "  Good  God,  I  forgot  the  violets ! " 

Such  was  Landor's  impossible  way  on  occasion  that  he  suc- 
ceeded in  getting  himself  exiled  from  Tuscany;  but  the 
Grand  Duke  was  called  in  as  pacificator,  and,  though  the 
order  of  expulsion  was  not  rescinded,  it  was  not  carried  out 

In  1835  Landor  wrote  some  verses  to  his  friend  Ahlett, 
who  had  lent  him  the  money  to  buy  the  villa,  professing 
himself  wholly  happy — 

Thou  knowest  how,  and  why,  are  dear  to  me 
My  citxon  groves  of  Fiesole, 
My  chirping  Affrico,  my  beechwood  nook, 
My  Naiads,  with  feet  only  in  the  brook, 
Which  runs  away  and  giggles  in  their  faces  ; 
Vet  there  they  ^it,  nor  sigh  for  other  places — 

but  later  in  the  year  came  a  serious  break.  Landor's 
relations  with  Miu  Landor,  never  of  such  a  nature  as  to 
give  any  sense  of  security,  had  gi'own  steadily  worse  as  he 
became  more  explosive,  and  they  now  reached  such  a  point 
that  he  flung  out  of  the  house  one  day  and  did  not  return 
for  many  years,  completing  the  action  by  a  poem  in  which 
he  took  a  final  (as  he  thought)  farewell  of  Italy  : — 

I  leave  thee,  beauteous  Italy  I  No  more 
From  the  high  terraces,  at  even-tide, 
To  look  supine  into  thy  depths  of  sky, 
The  golden  moon  between  the  cliff  and  me, 
Or  thy  dark  spires  of  fretted  cypresses 
Bordering  the  channel  of  the  milky  way. 
Fiesole  and  Valdarno  must  be  dreams, 
Hereafter,  and  my  own  lost  Affrico 
Murmur  to  me  but  the  poet's  song. 


Landor  gave  his  son  Arnold  the  villa,  settling  a  sum  on 
his  wife  for  the  other  children's  maintenance,  and  himself 
returned  to  Bath,  where  he  added  to  his  friends  Sir  William 
Napier  (who  fii-st  found  a  resemblance  to  a  Hon  in  Landor's 
features),  John  Forster,  who  afterwards  wrote  his  life,  and 
Charles  Dickens,  who  named  a  child  after  him  and  touched 
ofF  his  merrier  turbulent  side  most  charmingly  as  Leonard 
Boythom  in  "  Bleak  House  ".  But  his  most  constant  com- 
panion was  a  Pomeranian  dog ;  in  dogs  indeed  he  found 
comfort  all  his  life,  right  to  the  end. 

Landor's  love  of  his  villa  and  estate  finds  expression  again 
and  again  in  his  veree  written  at  this  time.  The  most 
charming  of  all  these  charming  poems — the  perfection  of 
the  light  verse  of  a  serious  poet — is  the  letter  from  England 
to  his  youngest  boy,  speculating  on  his  Italian  pursuits. 
I  begin  at  the  passage  describing  the  villa's  cat : — 

Does  Cincirillo  follow  thee  about, 
Inverting  one  swart  foot  suspensively, 
And  wagging  his  dread  jaw  at  every  chirp 
Of  bird  above  him  on  the  olive-branch  ? 
Frighten  him  then  away  I  'twas  he  who  slew 
Our  pigeons,  our  white  pigeons  peacock-tailed, 
That  feared  not  you  and  me — alas,  nor  him  I 
I  flattened  his  striped  sides  along  my  knee, 
And  reasoned  with  him  on  his  bloody  mind, 
Till  he  looked  blandly,  and  half-closed  his  eyes 
To  ponder  on  my  lecture  in  the  shade. 
I  doubt  his  memory  much,  his  heart  a  little. 
And  in  some  minor  matters  (may  I  say  it  ?) 
Could  wrish  him  rather  sager.    But  from  thee 
God  hold  back  wisdom  yet  for  many  years  I 
Whether  in  early  season  or  in  late 
It  always  comes  high-priced.    For  thy  pure  breast 
I  have  no  lesson ;  it  for  me  has  many. 
Come  throw  it  open  then  I  What  sports,  what  cares 
(Since  there  are  none  too  young  for  these)  engage 
Thy  busy  thoughts  ?    Are  you  again  at  work. 


Waltei  and  you,  with  those  sly  labourers, 
Geppo,  Giovanni,  Cecco,  and  Poeta, 
To  build  more  solidly  your  broken  dam 
Among  the  poplars,  whence  the  nightingale 
Inquisitively  watch 'd  you  all  day  long  ? 
I  was  not  of  your  council  in  the  scheme, 
Or  might  have  saved  you  silver  without  end, 
And  sighs  too  without  number.    Art  thou  gone 
Below  the  mulberry,  where  that  cold  pool 
Urged  to  devise  a  warmer,  and  more  fit 
For  mighty  swimmers,  swimming  three  abreast  ? 
Or  art  though  panting  in  this  summer  noon 
Upon  the  lowest  step  before  the  hall. 
Drawing  a  slice  of  watermelon,  long 
As  Cupid's  bow,  athwart  thy  wetted  lips 
(Like  one  who  plays  Pan's  pipe),  and  letting  drop 
The  sable  seeds  from  all  their  separate  cells, 
And  leaving  bays  profound  and  rocks  abrupt. 
Redder  than  coral  round  Calypso's  cave  ? 

In  1853  Landor  put  forth  what  he  thought  his  last  book, 
under  the  title  "  Last  Fruit  off  an  Old  Tree  ".  Unhappily 
it  was  not  his  last,  for  in  1858  he  issued  yet  one  more, 
"  Dry  Sticks  faggotted  by  W.  S.  Landor,"  in  which  was  a 
malicious  copy  of  verses  reflecting  upon  a  lady.  He  was 
sued  for  libel,  lost  the  case  with  heavy  damages,  and  once 
more  and  for  the  last  time  left  England  for  Florence.  He 
was  now  eighty-three.  At  first  he  went  to  the  Villa 
Gherardesco,  then  the  home  of  his  son  Arnold,  but  his 
outbursts  were  unbearable,  and  three  times  he  broke  away, 
to  be  three  times  brought  back.  In  July,  1859,  he  made  a 
fourth  escape,  and  then  escaped  altogether,  for  Browning 
took  the  matter  in  hand  and  established  him,  after  a  period 
in  Siena,  in  lodgings  in  the  Via  Nunziatina  From  this 
time  till  his  death  in  1864  Landor  may  be  said  at  last  to 
have  been  at  rest.  He  had  found  safe  anchorage  and  never 
left  it.  Many  friends  came  to  see  him,  chief  among  them 
Browning,  who  was  at  once  his  adviser,  his  admirer  and 

THE    M  \liOX\A    AN 
'M    TH  E    1',^  I  \  I  I  M.     \V    I'l-  N 

l>    Clin.l'KEX 

L  (.1  \n   i\     riii;    ni  'i  i 

GIALLO  353 

his  shrewd  observer.     Landor.  always  devoted  to  pictures, 
but  without  much  judgment,  now  added  to  his  collection  • 
Browning  in  one  of  his  letters  to  Forster  tells  how  he  has' 
found  him  "particularly  delighted  by  the  ax:quisition  of 
three  execrable  daubs  by  Domenichino  and  Gaspar  Poussin 
most  benevolently  battered  by  time  ".    Another  friend  says 
thatlie  had  a  habit  of  attributing  all  his  doubtful  pictmes 
to  Con-eggio.     «  He  cannot,"  Browning  continues,  « in  the 
least  understand  that  he  is  at  all  wrong,  or  injudicious, 
or  unfortunate  in  anything.  .  .  .  Whatever  he  may  profess, 
the  thing  he  really  loves  is  a  pretty  girl  to  talk  nonsense 

Of  the  old  man  in  the  company  of  fair  listeners  we  have 
glimpses  in  the  reminiscences  of  Miss  Kate  Field  in  the  "  At- 
lantic Monthly  "  in  1866.  She  also  describes  him  as  in  a 
cloud  of  pictures.  There  with  his  Pomeranian  Giallo  with- 
in  fondling  distance,  the  poet,  seated  in  his  arm-chair,  fired 
comments  upon  everything.  Giallo's  opinion  was  asked  on 
all  subjects,  and  Landor  said  of  him  that  an  approving  wag 
of  his  tail  was  worth  all  the  praise  of  all  the  "  Quarterlies  ". 
It  was  Giallo  who  led  to  the  profound  couplet — 

He  is  foolish  who  supposes 

Dogs  are  ill  that  have  hot  noses. 

Miss  Field  tells  how,  after  some  classical  or  fashionable  music 
had  been  played,  Landor  would  come  closer  to  the  piano 
and  ask  for  an  old  English  ballad,  and  when  "  Auld  Robin 
Gray,"  his  favom-ite  of  all,  was  sung,  the  tears  would  stream 
down  his  face.  "  Ah,  you  don't  know  what  thoughts  you 
are  recalling  to  the  troublesome  old  man." 

But  we  have  Browning's  word  that  he  did  not  spend 
much  time  in  remorse  or  regret,  while  there  was  the  com- 
position of  the  pretty  little  tender  epigrams  of  this  last 
period  to  amuse  him  and  Italian  politics  to  enchain  his 


sympathy.  His  impulsive  generosity  led  him  to  give  his 
old  and  trusted  watch  to  the  funds  for  Garibaldi's  Sicilian 
expedition ;  but  Browning  persuaded  him  to  take  it  again. 
For  Garibaldi's  wounded  prisoners  he  wrote  an  Italian 
dialogue  between  Savonai'ola  and  the  Prior  of  S.  Marco. 
The  death  of  Mrs.  Browning  in  1861  sent  Browning  back 
to  England,  and  Landor  after  that  was  less  cheerfiiJ  and 
rarely  left  the  house.  His  chief  solace  was  the  novels  of 
Anthony  TroUope  and  G.  P.  R  James.  In  his  last  year 
he  received  a  visit  from  a  young  English  poet  and  enthusiast 
for  poetry,  one  Algernon  Charles  Swinburne,  who  arrived 
in  time  to  have  a  little  glowing  talk  with  the  old  lion  and 
thus  obtain  inspiration  for  some  fine  memorial  stanzas.  On 
September  17th,  1864,  Death  found  liandor  ready — as  nine 
years  earlier  he  had  promised  it  should — 

To  my  ninth  decade  I  have  totter'd  on, 
And  no  soft  aim  bends  now  my  steps  to  steady ; 

She  who  once  led  me  where  she  would,  is  gone, 
So  when  he  calls  me.  Death  shall  find  me  ready. 

Landor  was  buried,  as  we  saw,  in  the  English  cemetery 
within  the  city,  whither  his  son  Arnold  was  borne  less  than 
seven  years  later.  Here  is  his  own  epitaph,  one  of  the  most 
perfect  things  in  form  and  substance  in  the  English  lan- 
guage :— 

I  strove  with  none,  for  none  was  worth  my  strife, 

Nature  I  loved,  and  next  to  Nature,  Art ; 
I  warmed  both  hands  before  the  fire  of  life, 

It  sinks,  and  I  am  ready  to  depart. 

It  should  be  cut  on  his  tombstone. 



The  human  form  divine  and  waxen  —  Galileo  —  Bianca  Capella  —  A 
faithful  Grand  Duke — S.  Spirito — The  Carmine — Masaccio's  place  in  art — 
Leonardo's  summary — The  S.  Peter  frescoes — The  Pitti  side — Romola — 
A  little  country  walk — The  ancient  wall — The  Piazzale  Michelangelo — 
An  evening  prospect — S.  Miniato — Antonio  Rossellino's  masterpiece — The 
story  of  S.  Gualberto — A  city  of  the  dead — The  reluctant  departure, 

THE  Via  Maggio  is  now  our  way,  but  first  there  is  a 
museum  which  I  think  should  be  visited,  if  only  be- 
cause it  gave  Dickens  so  much  pleasure  when  he  was  here 
— the  Museo  di  Storia  Naturale,  which  is  open  three  days 
a  week  only  and  is  always  free.  Many  visitora  to  Florence 
never  even  hear  of  it  and  one  quickly  finds  that  its  chief 
frequenters  ai-e  the  poor.  All  the  better  for  that.  Here 
not  only  is  the  whole  animal  kingdom  spread  out  before 
the  eye  in  crowded  cases,  but  the  most  wonderful  col- 
lection of  wax  reproductions  of  the  human  form  is  to  be 
seen.  These  anatomical  models  are  so  numerous  and  so 
exact  that,  since  the  human  body  does  not  change  with 
the  times,  a  medical  student  could  learn  everything  from 
them  in  the  most  gentlemanly  way  possible.  But  they  need 
a  strong  stomach.  Mine,  I  confess,  quailed  before  the  end. 
The  hero  of  the  Museum  is  Galileo,  whose  tomb  at 
S.  Croce  we  have  seen :  here  are  preserved  certain  of  his 
instruments  in  a  modem,  floridly  decorated  Tribuna  named 
after  him.     Galileo  Galilei  (1564-1642)  belongs  rather  tq 



Pisa,  where  he  was  born  and  where  he  found  the  Leaning 
Tower  useful  for  experiments,  and  to  Rome,  where  in 
1611  he  demonstrated  his  discovery  of  the  telescope ;  bat 
Florence  is  proud  of  him  and  it  was  here  that  he  died, 
under  circumstances  tragic  for  an  astronomer,  for  he  had 
become  totally  blind. 

The  frescoes  in  the  Tribuna  celebrate  other  Italian  scien- 
tific triumphs,  and  in  the  cases  are  historic  telescopes, 
astrolabes,  binoculars,  and  other  mysteries. 

The  Via  Maggio,  which  runs  from  Casa  Guidi  to  the 
Ponte  Trinita,  and  at  noon  is  always  full  of  school-girls, 
brings  us  by  way  of  the  Via  Michelozzo  to  S.  Spirito,  but 
by  continuing  in  it  we  pass  a  house  of  great  interest,  now 
No.  26,  where  once  lived  the  famous  Bianca  Capella,  that 
beautiful  and  magnetic  Venetian  whom  some  hold  to 
have  been  so  vile  and  others  so  much  the  victim  of  fate. 
Bianca  Capella  was  born  in  1548,  when  Francis  I,  Cosimo  I's 
eldest  son,  afterwards  to  play  such  a  part  in  her  life,  was 
two  years  of  age.  While  he  was  being  brought  up  in  Flor- 
ence, Bianca  was  gaining  loveliness  in  her  father's  palace. 
When  she  was  seventeen  she  fell  in  love  with  a  young  Flor- 
entine engaged  in  a  bank  in  Venice,  and  they  were  secretly 
maiTied.  Her  family  were  outraged  by  the  misalliance  and 
the  young  couple  had  to  flee  to  Florence,  where  they  lived 
in  poverty  and  hiding,  a  prize  of  2000  ducats  being  oiFered 
by  the  Capella  family  to  anyone  who  would  kill  the  husband  ; 
while,  by  way  of  showing  how  much  in  earnest  they  were, 
they  had  his  uncle  thrown  into  prison,  where  he  died. 

One  day  the  unhappy  Bianca  was  sitting  at  her  window 
when  the  young  prince  Francis  was  passing :  he  looked 
up,  saw  her,  and  was  enslaved  on  the  spot.  (The  portraits 
of  Bianca  do  not,  I  must  admit,  lay  emphasis  on  this  story. 
Titian's  I  have  not  seen ;  but  there  is  one  by  Bronzino  in 


our  National  Gallery— No.  650— and  many  in  Florence.) 
There  was,  however,  something  in  Bianca's  face  to  which 
Piancis  fell  a  victim,  and  he  brought  about  a  speedy  meet- 
ing. At  first  Bianca  repulsed  him ;  but  when  she  found 
that  her  husband  was  unworthy  of  her,  she  returned  the 
Prince's  affection.  (I  am  telling  her  story  from  the 
pro-Bianca  point  of  view  :  there  are  plenty  of  narrators  on 
the  other  sid&)  Meanwhile,  Francis's  official  life  going 
on,  he  married  that  archduchess  Joanna  of  Austi'ia  for 
whom  the  Austrian  frescoes  in  the  Palazzo  Vecchio  were 
painted  ;  but  his  heart  remained  Bianca's  and  he  was  more 
at  her  house  than  in  his  own.  At  last,  Bianca's  husband 
being  killed  in  some  fray,  she  was  free  from  the  persecu- 
tion of  her  family  and  ready  to  occupy  the  palace  which 
Francis  hastened  to  build  for  her,  here,  in  the  Via  Maggio, 
now  cut  up  into  tenements  at  a  few  lire  a  week.  The  at- 
tachment continued  unabated  when  Francis  came  to  the 
throne,  and  upon  the  death  of  his  archduchess  in  1578 
Bianca  and  he  were  almost  immediately,  but  privately, 
married,  she  being  then  thirty-five ;  and  in  the  next  year 
they  were  publicly  married  in  the  church  of  S.  Lorenzo 
with  every  circumstance  of  pomp ;  while  later  in  the  same 
year  Bianca  was  crowned. 

Francis  remained  her  lover  till  his  death,  which  was  both 
dramatic  and  suspicious,  husband  and  wife  dying  within  a 
few  hours  of  each  other  at  the  Medici  villa  of  Poggia  a 
Caiano  in  1587.  Historians  have  not  hesitated  to  suggest 
that  Francis  was  poisoned  by  his  wife;  but  there  is  no 
proof.  It  is  indeed  quite  possible  that  her  life  was  more 
free  of  intrigue,  ambition  and  falsehood,  than  that  of  any 
one  about  the  court  at  that  time;  but  the  Florentines, 
encouraged  by  Francis's  brother  Ferdinand  I,  who  succeeded 
him,  made  up  their  minds  that  she  was  a  witch,  and  few 


things  in  the  way  of  disaster  happened  that  were  not  laid 
to  her  charge.  Call  a  woman  a  witch  and  everything  is 
possible.  Ferdinand  not  only  detested  Bianca  in  life  and 
deplored  her  fascination  for  his  brother,  but  when  she  died 
he  refused  to  allow  her  to  be  buried  with  the  others  of  the 
family ;  hence  the  Chapel  of  the  Princes  at  S.  Lorenzo  lacks 
one  archduchess.     Her  grave  is  unknown. 

The  whole  truth  we  shall  never  know ;  but  it  is  as  easy 
to  think  of  Bianca  as  a  harmless  woman  who  both  lost  and 
gained  through  love  as  to  picture  her  as  sinister  and  schem- 
ing. At  any  rate  we  know  that  Francis  was  devoted  to 
her  with  a  fidelity  and  persistence  for  which  Grand  Dukes 
have  not  always  been  conspicuous. 

S.  Spirito  is  one  of  Brunelleschi's  solidest  works.  Within 
it  resembles  the  city  of  Bologna  in  its  vistas  of  brown  and 
white  arches.  The  effect  is  severe  and  splendid ;  but  the 
church  is  to  be  taken  rather  as  architecture  than  a  treasury 
of  art,  for  although  each  of  its  eight  and  thirty  chapels  has 
an  altar  picture  and  several  have  fine  pieces  of  sculpture — 
one  a  copy  of  Michelangelo's  famous  Fietk  in  Rome — there 
is  nothing  of  the  highest  value.  It  was  in  this  church  that 
I  was  asked  alms  by  one  of  the  best-dressed  men  in  Florence; 
but  the  Florentine  beggars  are  not  importunate  :  they  ask, 
receive  or  are  denied,  and  that  is  the  end  of  it. 

The  other  great  church  in  the  Pitti  quarter  is  the  Car- 
mine, and  here  we  are  on  very  sacred  ground  in  art — for  it 
was  here,  as  I  have  had  occasion  to  say  more  than  once  in 
this  book,  that  Masaccio  painted  those  early  frescoes  which 
by  their  innovating  boldness  turned  the  Brancacci  chapel 
into  an  Academy.  For  all  the  artists  came  to  study  and 
copy  them  :  among  othei's  Michelangelo,  whose  nose  was 
broken  by  the  turbulent  Torrigiano,  a  fellow-student, 
under  this  very  roof. 


Tommaso  di  Ser  Giovanni,  or  Masaccio,  the  son  of  a 
notary,  was  born  in  1402.  His  master  is  not  known,  but 
Tommaso  Fini  or  Masolino,  bom  in  1383,  is  often  named 
Vasan  states  that  as  a  youth  Masaccio  helped  Ghiberti  with 
his  first  Baptistery  dooi-s ;  and  if  so,  the  fact  is  significant. 
But  all  that  is  really  known  of  his  early  life  is  that  he  went 
to  Rome  to  paint  a  chapel  in  S.  Clemente.  He  returned, 
appai-ently  on  hearing  that  his  patron  Giovanni  de"  Medici 
was  in  power  again.  Another  friend,  Brunelleschi,  having 
built  the  church  of  S.  Spirito  in  1422,  Masaccio  began 
to  work  there  in  1423,  when  he  was  only  twenty-one. 

Masaccio's  peculiar  value  in  the  history  of  painting  is  his 
early  combined  power  of  applying  the  laws  of  perspective 
and  representing  human  beings  "in  the  round  ".  Giotto 
was  the  first  and  greatest  innovator  in  painting— the 
father  of  real  painting;  Masaccio  was  the  second.  If 
from  Giotto's  influence  a  stream  of  vigour  had  flowed 
such  as  flowed  from  Masaccio's,  there  would  have  been 
nothing  special  to  note  about  Masaccio  at  all.  But  the 
impulse  which  Giotto  gave  to  art  died  down ;  some  one 
had  to  reinvigorate  it,  and  that  some  one  was  Masaccio.  In 
his  remarks  on  painting,  Leonardo  da  Vinci  sums  up  the 
achievements  of  the  two.  They  stood  out,  he  says,  from 
the  others  of  their  time,  by  reason  of  their  wish  to  go  to 
life  rather  than  to  pictures.  Giotto  went  to  life,  his 
followers  went  to  pictures ;  and  the  result  was  a  decline  in 
art  until  Masaccio,  who  again  went  to  life. 

From  the  Carmine  frescoes  came  the  new  painting.  It 
is  not  that  walls  henceforth  were  covered  more  beautifully 
or  suitably  than  they  had  been  by  Giotto's  followers ;  pro- 
bably less  suitably  very  often ;  but  that  religious  symbol- 
ism without  much  relation  to  actual  life  gave  way  to  scenes 
which  might  credibly  have  occurred,  where  men,  women 


and  saints  walked  and  talked  much  as  we  do,  in  similar 
surroundings,  with  backgrounds  of  cities  that  could  be  lived 
in  and  windows  that  could  open.  It  was  this  revolution 
that  Masaccio  performed.  No  doubt  if  he  had  not, 
another  would,  for  it  had  to  come :  the  new  demand  was 
that  religion  should  be  reconciled  with  life. 

It  is  generally  supposed  that  Masaccio  had  Masolino  as 
his  ally  in  this  wonderful  series ;  and  a  vast  amount  of  ink 
has  been  spilt  over  Masolino's  contributions.  Indeed  the 
literature  of  expert  art  criticism  on  Florentine  pictures 
alone  is  of  alarming  bulk  and  astonishing  in  its  affirmations 
and  denials.  The  untutored  visitor  in  the  presence  of  so 
much  scientific  vaiiance  will  be  wise  to  enact  the  part  of 
the  lawyer  in  the  old  caricature  of  the  litigants  and  the 
cow,  who,  while  they  pull,  one  at  the  head  and  the  other 
at  the  tail,  fills  his  bucket  with  milk.  In  other  words,  the 
plainduty  of  the  ordinary  person  is  to  enjoy  the  picture. 

Without  any  special  knowledge  of  art  one  can,  by  re- 
membering the  early  date  of  these  frescoes,  realize  what 
excitement  they  must  have  caused  in  the  studios  and  how 
tongues  must  have  clacked  in  the  Old  Market.  We  have 
but  to  send  our  thoughts  to  the  Spanish  chapel  at  S. 
Maria  Novella  to  realize  the  technical  advance.  Masaccio, 
we  see,  was  peopling  a  visible  world ;  the  Spanish  chapel 
painters  were  merely  allegorizing,  as  agents  of  holiness. 
The  Ghirlandaio  choir  in  the  same  church  would  yield  a 
similar  comparison ;  but  what  we  have  to  remember  is 
that  Ghirlandaio  painted  these  frescoes  in  1490,  sixty- 
two  years  after  Masaccio's  death,  and  Masaccio  showed 
him  how. 

It  is  a  pity  that  the  light  is  so  poor  and  that  the  frescoes 
have  not  worn  better ;  but  their  force  and  dramatic  vigour 
remain  beyond  doubt     The  upper  scene  on  the  left  of  the 


FROM    THE    PAIK'J'iNG    BV    Bt.iCCACCIO    BC^CCAC  I M    IN    'I  HE    f  ITl  I 


altar  is  very  powerful :  the  Roman  tax  collector  has  asked 
Christ  for  a  tribute  and  Christ  bids  Peter  find  the  money 
in  the  mouth  of  a  fish.  Figures,  architecture,  landscape, 
all  are  in  right  relation ;  and  the  drama  is  moving,  without 
restlessness.  This  and  the  S.  Peter  preaching  and  distri- 
buting alms  ai-e  perhaps  the  best,  but  the  most  popular 
undoubtedly  is  that  below  it,  finished  many  years  after  by 
Filippino  Lippi  (although  there  are  experts  to  question 
this  and  even  substitute  his  amorous  father),  in  which  S. 
Peter,  challenged  by  Simon  Magus,  resuscitates  a  dead  boy, 
just  as  S.  Zenobius  used  to  do  in  the  streets  of  this  city. 
Certain  more  modern  touches,  such  as  the  exquisite  Filippino 
would  naturally  have  thought  of,  may  be  seen  here :  the 
little  girl  behind  the  boy,  for  instance,  who  recalls  the 
children  in  that  fresco  by  the  same  hand  at  S.  Maria 
Novella  in  which  S.  John  resuscitates  Drusiana.  In  this 
Carmine  fresco  are  many  portraits  of  Filippino's  contempor- 
aries, including  Botticelli,  just  as  in  the  scene  of  the  con- 
secration of  the  Carmine  which  Masaccio  painted  in  the 
cloisters,  but  which  has  almost  perished,  he  introduced 
Brancacci,  his  employer,  Brunelleschi,  Donatello,  some  of 
whose  innovating  work  in  stone  he  was  doing  in  paint, 
Giovanni  de'  Medici  and  Masolino.  The  scanty  remains 
of  this  fresco  tell  us  that  it  must  have  been  fine  indeed. 

Masaccio  died  at  the  early  age  of  twenty-six,  having 
suddenly  disappeared  from  Florence,  leaving  certain  work 
unfinished.     A  strange  portentous  meteor  in  art. 

The  Pitti  side  of  the  river  is  less  interesting  than  the 
other,  but  it  has  some  very  fascinating  old  and  narrow 
streets,  although  they  are  less  comfortable  for  foreigners  to 
wander  in  than  those,  for  example,  about  the  Borgo  SS. 
Apostoli.     They  are  far  dirtier. 

From  the  Pitti  end  of  the  Ponte  Vecchio  one  can  obtain 


a  most  charming  walk.  Turn  to  the  left  as  you  leave  the 
bridge,  under  the  arch  made  by  Cosimo's  passage,  and  you 
are  in  the  Via  de'  Bardi,  the  backs  of  whose  houses  on  the 
river-side  are  so  beautiful  from  the  Ufflzi's  central  arches, 
as  Mr.  Morley's  picture  shows.  At  the  end  of  the 
street  is  an  archway  under  a  large  house.  Go  through 
this,  and  you  are  at  the  foot  of  a  steep,  stone  hill. 
It  is  really  steep,  but  never  mind.  Take  it  easily,  and 
rest  half-way  where  the  houses  on  the  left  break  and 
give  a  wonderful  view  of  the  city.  Still  climbing,  you 
come  to  the  best  gate  of  all  that  is  left — a  true 
gate  in  being  an  inlet  into  a  fortified  city — that  of 
S.  Giorgio,  high  on  the  Boboli  hill  by  the  fort.  The 
S.  Giorgio  gate  has  a  S.  George  killing  a  dragon,  in  stone, 
on  its  outside,  and  the  saint  painted  within,  Donatello's 
conception  of  him  being  followed  by  the  artist.  Passing 
through,  you  are  in  the  country.  The  fort  and  gardens  are 
on  one  side  and  villas  on  the  other  ;  and  a  gi-eat  hill-side 
is  in  front,  covered  with  crops.  Do  not  go  on,  but  turn 
sharp  to  the  left  and  follow  the  splendid  city  wall,  behind 
which  for  a  long  way  is  the  garden  of  the  Villa  Karolath, 
one  of  the  choicest  spots  in  Floi-ence,  occasionally  tossing 
its  branches  over  the  top.  This  wall  is  immense  all  the 
way  down  to  the  Porta  S.  Miniato,  and  two  of  the  old 
towers  are  still  standing  in  their  places  upon  it.  Botti- 
cini's  National  Gallery  picture  tells  exactly  how  they 
looked  in  their  heyday.  Ivy  hangs  over,  grass  and  flowers 
spring  from  the  ancient  stones,  and  lizards  run  about. 
Underneath  are  olive-trees. 

It  was,  by  the  way,  in  the  Via  de'  Bardi  that  George 
Eliot's  Romola  lived,  for  she  was  of  the  Bardi  family. 
The  story,  it  may  be  remembered,  begins  on  the 
morning   of  Lorenzo   the   Magnificent's  death,  and   ends 

"ROMOLA"  863 

after  the  execution  of  Savonarola.  It  is  not  an  inspired 
romance,  and  is  remarkable  almost  equally  for  its  psycho- 
logical omissions  and  the  convenience  of  its  coincidences, 
but  It  IS  an  excellent  preparation  for  a  first  visit  in  youth  to 
t5.  Marco  and  the  Palazzo  Vecchio,  while  the  presence  in 
Its  somewhat  natve  pages  of  certain  Florentine  characters 
makes  it  agreeable  to  those  who  know  something  of  the 
city  and  its  history.  The  painter  Piero  di  Cosimo,  for  ex- 
ample, is  here,  straight  from  Vasari ;  so  also  are  Cronaca, 
the  architect,  Savonarola,  Capparo,  the  ironsmith,  and  even 
MachiaveUi;  while  Bernai-do  del  Nero,  the  gonfalonier, 
whose  death  sentence  Savonarola  refused  to  revise,  was 
Romola's  godfather. 

The  Via  Guicciardini,  which  runs  from  the  foot  of  the 
Via  de'  Bardi  to  the  Pitti,  is  one  of  the  naiTowest  and 
busiest  Florentine  streets,  with  an  undue  proportion  of 
fruit  shops  overflowing  to  the  pavement  to  give  it  gay 
colouring.  At  No.  24  is  a  stable  with  pillars  and  arches 
that  would  hold  up  a  pyramid.  But  this  is  no  better 
than  most  of  the  old  stables  of  Florence,  which  are  all  solid 
vaulted  caverns  of  immense  size  and  strength. 

Fi'om  the  Porta  Romana  one  may  do  many  things — 
take  the  tram,  for  example,  for  the  Certosa  of  the  Val 
d'Ema,  which  is  only  some  twenty  minutes  distant,  or  make 
a  longer  journey  to  Impruneta,  where  the  della  Robbias  are. 
But  just  now  let  us  walk  or  ride  up  the  long  winding  Viale 
Macchiavelli,  which  curves  among  the  villas  behind  the  Boboli 
Gardens,  to  the  Piazzale  Michelangelo  and  S.  Miniato. 

The  Piazzale  Michelangelo  is  one  of  the  few  modem 
tributes  of  Florence  to  her  illustrious  makers.  The  Dante 
memorial  opposite  S.  Croce  is  another,  together  with 
the  preservation  of  certain  buildings  with  Dante  associa- 
tions in  the  heart  of  the  city ;  but,  as  I  have  said  more 


than  once,  there  is  no  piazza  in  Florence,  and  only  one  new 
street,  named  after  a  Medici.  From  the  Piazzale  Michel- 
angelo you  not  only  have  a  fine  panoramic  view  of  the  city 
of  this  great  man — in  its  principal  features  not  so  vastly 
different  from  the  Florence  of  his  day,  although  of  course 
larger  and  with  certain  modem  additions,  such  as  factory 
chimneys,  railway  lines,  and  so  forth — but  you  can  see 
the  remains  of  the  fortifications  which  he  constructed  in 
1529,  and  which  kept  the  Imperial  troops  at  bay  for  nearly 
a  year.  Just  across  the  river  rises  S.  Croce,  where  the  great 
man  is  buried,  and  beyond,  over  the  red  roofs,  the  dome 
of  the  Medici  chapel  at  S.  Lorenzo  shows  us  the  position 
of  the  Biblioteca  Laurenziana  and  the  New  Sacristy,  both 
built  by  him.  Immediately  below  us  is  the  church  of  S. 
Niccolo,  where  he  is  said  to  have  hidden  in  1529,  when 
there  was  a  hue  and  cry  for  him.  In  the  middle  of  this 
spacious  plateau  is  a  bronze  reproduction  of  his  David,  and 
it  is  good  to  see  it,  from  the  cafe  behind  it,  rising  head  and 
shoulders  above  the  highest  Apennines. 

S.  Miniato,  the  church  on  the  hill-top  above  the  Piazzale 
Michelangelo,  deserves  many  visits.  One  may  not  be  too 
greatly  attached  to  marble  fa9ades,  but  this  little  temple 
defeats  all  prejudices  by  its  radiance  and  perfection,  and  to 
its  extraordinary  charm  its  situation  adds.  It  crowns  the 
hill,  and  in  the  late  afternoon — the  ideal  time  to  visit  it — 
is  full  in  the  eye  of  the  sun,  bathed  in  whose  light  the  green 
and  white  facade,  with  miracles  of  delicate  intarsia,  is  balm 
to  the  eyes  instead  of  being,  as  marble  so  often  is,  dazzling 
and  cold. 

On  the  way  up  we  pass  the  fine  church  of  S.  Salvatore, 
which  Cronaca  of  the  Palazzo  Vecchio  and  Palazzo  Strozzi 
built  and  Michelangelo  admired,  and  which  is  now  secular- 
ized,  and   pass  through   the  gateway  of  Michelangelo's 


upper  fortifications.  S.  Miniato  is  one  of  the  oldest 
churches  of  Florence,  some  of  it  eleventh  century.  It  has 
its  name  from  Minias,  a  Roman  soldier  who  suffered 
martyrdom'  at  Florence  under  Decius.  Within,  one  does 
not  feel  quite  to  be  in  a  Chiistian  church,  the  effect  partly 
of  the  unusual  colouring,  all  grey,  green,  and  gold  and 
soft  light  tints  as  of  birds'  bosoms ;  partly  of  the  ceiling, 
which  has  the  bright  hues  of  a  Russian  toy ;  partly  of 
the  forest  of  great  gay  columns ;  partly  of  the  lovely 
and  so  richly  decorated  marble  screen;  and  partly  of 
the  absence  of  a  transept.  The  prevailing  feeling  indeed  is 
gentle  gaiety  ;  and  in  the  crypt  this  is  intensified,  for  it  is 
just  a  joyful  assemblage  of  dancing  arches. 

The  church  as  a  whole  is  beautiful  and  memorable 
enough  ;  but  its  details  are  wonderful  too,  from  the  niello 
pavement,  and  the  translucent  marble  windows  of  the  apse, 
to  the  famous  tomb  of  Cardinal  Jacopo  of  Portugal,  and 
the  Luca  della  Robbia  reUefs  of  the  Virtues.  This  tomb 
is  by  Antonio  Rossellino.  It  is  not  quite  of  the  rank  of 
Mino's  in  the  Badia ;  but  it  is  a  noble  and  beautiful  thing 
marked  in  every  inch  of  it  by  modest  and  exquisite  thought. 
Vasari  says  of  Antonio  that  he  "  practised  his  art  with  such 
grace  that  he  was  valued  as  something  more  than  a  man 
by  those  who  knew  him,  who  well-nigh  adored  him  as  a 
saint ".  Facing  it  is  a  delightful  Annunciation  by  Alessio 
Baldovinetti,  in  which  the  angel  declares  the  news  from  a 
far  greater  distance  than  we  are  accustomed  to ;  and  the 
ceiling  is  made  an  abode  of  gladness  by  the  blue  and  white 
figures  (designed  by  Luca  della  Robbia)  of  Prudence  and 
Chastity,  Moderation  and  Fortitude,  for  all  of  which  quali- 
ties, it  seems,  the  Cardinal  was  famous.  In  short,  one  cannot 
be  too  glad  that,  since  he  had  to  die,  death's  dart  struck  down 
this  Portuguese  prelate  while  he  was  in  Rossellino's  and 
Luca's  city. 


No  longer  is  preserved  here  the  miraculous  crucifix 
which,  standing  in  a  little  chapel  in  the  wood  on  this  spot, 
bestowed  blessing  and  pardon — by  bending  towards  him — 
upon  S.  Giovanni  Gualberto,  the  founder  of  the  Vallom- 
brosan  order.  The  crucifix  is  now  in  S.  Trinitsl.  The 
saint  was  bom  in  985  of  noble  stock  and  assumed  naturally 
the  splendour  and  arrogance  of  his  kind.  His  brother 
Hugo  being  murdered  in  some  affray,  Giovanni  took  upon 
himself  the  duty  of  avenging  the  crime.  One  Good  Friday 
he  chanced  to  meet,  near  this  place,  the  assassin,  in  so 
narrow  a  passage  as  to  preclude  any  chance  of  escape ;  and 
he  was  about  to  kill  him  when  the  man  fell  on  his  knees 
and  implored  mercy  by  the  passion  of  Christ  Who  suffered 
on  that  very  day,  adding  that  Christ  had  prayed  on  the 
cross  for  His  own  murderers.  Giovanni  was  so  much  im- 
pressed that  he  not  only  forgave  the  man  but  offered  him 
his  friendship.  Entering  then  the  chapel  to  pray  and  ask 
forgiveness  of  all  his  sins,  he  was  amazed  to  see  the  crucifix 
bend  down  as  though  acquiescing  and  blessing,  and  this 
special  mark  of  favour  so  wrought  upon  him  that  he 
became  a  monk,  himself  shaving  his  head  for  that  purpose 
and  defying  his  father's  rage,  and  subsequently  founded 
the  Vallombrosan  order.     He  died  in  1073. 

I  have  said  something  of  the  S.  Croce  habit  and  the  S. 
Maria  Novella  habit ;  but  I  think  that  when  all  is  said  the 
S.  Miniato  habit  is  the  most  important  to  acquire.  There  is 
nothing  else  like  it ;  and  the  sense  of  height  is  so  invigorat- 
ing too.  At  all  times  of  the  year  it  is  beautiful ;  but  perhaps 
best  in  early  spring,  when  the  highest  mountains  still  have 
snow  upon  them  and  the  neighbouring  slopes  are  covered 
with  tender  green  and  white  fruit  blossom,  and  here  the 
violet  wistaria  blooms  and  there  the  sombre  crimson  of  the 


Behind  and  beside  the  church  is  a  crowded  city  of  the 
Florentine  dead,  reproducing  to  some  extent  the  city  of 
the  Florentine  living,  in  its  closely  packed  habitations— the 
detached  palaces  for  the  rich  and  the  gi-eat  congeries  of 
cells  for  the  poor — more  of  which  are  being  built  all  the 
time.  There  is  a  certain  melancholy  interest  in  wandering 
through  these  silent  streets,  peering  through  the  windows 
and  recognizing  over  the  vaults  names  famous  in  Florence. 
One  leams  quickly  how  bad  modern  mortuary  architecture 
and  sculpture  can  be,  but  I  noticed  one  monument  with 
some  sincerity  and  unaflFected  grace :  that  to  a  charitable 
Marchesa,  a  friend  of  the  poor,  at  the  foot  of  whose  pedes- 
tal are  a  girl  and  baby  done  simply  and  well. 

Better  perhaps  to  remain  on  the  highest  point  and  look 
at  the  city  beneath.  One  should  try  to  be  there  before 
sunset  and  watch  the  Apennines  turning  to  a  deeper  and 
deeper  indigo  and  the  -city  growing  dimmer  and  dimmer  in 
the  dusk.  Florence  is  beautiful  from  every  point  of  van- 
tage, but  from  none  more  beautiful  than  from  this  eminence. 
As  one  reluctantly  leaves  the  chm-ch  and  passes  again 
thi'ough  Michelangelo's  foi-tification  gateway  to  descend, 
one  has,  framed  in  its  portal,  a  final  lovely  Apennine 


Artists'  Dates. 

Some  Important  Florentine  Dates. 

Taddeo  Gaddi  born  (d.  1366) 
Cimabue  died  (b.  c.  1240) 



Foundations  of  the  Duomo  conse- 

Palazzo   Vecchio   commenced   by 

Arnolfo  di  Cambio 
Beginning    of   the    feuds  of  the 

Bianchi  and  Neri 
Guido  Cavalcanti  died 
Dante  exiled,  Jan.  27 


Petrarch  born  (d.  1374) 

Andrea  Orcagna  born  (d.  1368) 


Death  of  Corso  Donati 

Arnolfo  di  Cambio  died  (b.  1233  ?) 

13 13 

Siege  of  Florence  by  Henry  VII 
Boccaccio  born  (d.  1375) 


Dante  died  Sept.  14  (b.  1265) 

Spinello  Aietino  born  (d,  1410) 


Destructive  floods 

Foundations  of  the  Campanile  laid 

Giotto  died  (b.  1276  ?) 


iNCE    AND   EUROPE,  1296-1564 




llement  V 

ohn  XXII 






Philip  IV 

Louis  X 


John  I 

Philip  V 

Charles  IV 

Philip  VI 


Edward  I 

Edward  II 

Edward  III 



13 10 






Some  Important  General  Dates. 



13 14 

1324  (?) 

Battle  of  Falkirk 

Coronation  of  Bruce 

Battle  of  Bannockburn 

John  Wyclif  born 



Artists'  Dates. 

Some  Important  Florentine  Dates. 

Simone  Martini  died  (b.  1283) 

Andrea  Pisano  died  (b.  1270) 

Lippo  Memmi  died 



Taddeo  Gaddi  died  (b.  c.  130a) 

Andrea  Orcagna  died 

Lorenzo  Monaco  born  (d.  1425) 
Gentile  da  Fabriano  born  (d.  1450) 
Jacopo  della  Querela  born  (d.  1438) 

Filippo  Brunelleschi  born  (d.  1446) 
Lorenzo  Ghiberti  born  (d.  1455) 





Or  San  Michele  begun 
Andrea  Pisano's  gates  finished 

Black  Death  of  the  Decameron 
Giovanni  Villani  died  (b.  1275  c.) 

Giovanni  de'  Medici  (di  Bicci)  boi 


Ponte  Vecchio  rebuilt  by  Taddi 

Petrarch  died 

Boccaccio  died 

Loggia  de'  Lanzi  commenced 

Salvestro  de'  Medici  elected  Go 

NCE  AND  EUROPE,  1296-1664 





Element  VI 







John  II 

Urban  V 

Gregory  XI 

Charles  V 

Urban  VI 

Charles  VI 




Some  Important  General  Dates.i 






Richard  II 











Froissart  born  (d.  1410  ?) 

Beginning  of  the   Hundred 
Years'  War 

Battle  of  Cr^cy  [Rome 

Rienzi     made     Tribune    of 
Edward  III  took  Calais 

Black  Death  in  England 
S,  Catherine  of  Siena  born 

Battle  of  Poictiers 

First  draft  of  Piers  Plowman 

Thomas  &  Kempis  born 
Wat  Tyler's  Rebellion 


Artists'  DateB, 

Some  Important  Florentine  Dates.- 

Donatello  born  (d.  1466) 
Fra  Angelico  born  (d.  1455) 

Michelozzo  born  (d.  1472) 

Andrea  del  Castagno  born  (d.  1457) 
Paolo  Uccello  born  (d.  1475) 

Luca  delta  Robbia  born  (d.  1482) 

Masaccio  born  (d.  1428  ?) 

Leon  Battista  Albert!  born  (d.  1472) 
Lippo  Lippi  born  (d.  1469) 

Bernardo  Rossellino  born  (d.  1464) 
Spinello  Aretino  died 

Piero  della  Francesca  born  (d.  1492) 

Benozzo  Gozzoli  born  (d.  1498) 

II  Monaco  died 

Alessio  Baldovinetti  born  (d.  1499) 







Cosimo  de'  Medici  (Pater  Patria 
War  with  Milan 

Sir  John  Hawkwood  died 

Competition  for  Baptistery  Gates 

Piero  de'  Medici  (il  Gottoso)  born 

Purchase  of  Leghorn  by  Florenci 
Giovanni  de'  Medici  elected  Goi 
faloniere  [menc| 

Spedale     degli     Innocent!    coq 
Ghiberti's  first  gate  set  up 

SNCE  AND  EUROPE,  1296-1664 







Henry  IV 








Alex.  V 


John  XXIII 

Martin  V 


Some  Important  General  Dates. 


Gian  Maria 


Henry  V 

Charles  VII 

Henry  VI 






Geoffrey  Chaucer  died 


Council  of  Constance 


Artists'  Dates. 

Some  Important  Florentine  Dates. 

Antonio  Rossellino  boin  (d.  1478) 
Masaccio  died  [1464) 

Desideiio   da  Settignano  born  (d. 
Giovanni  Bellini  born  (d.  15 16) 
Antonio  PoUaiuolo  born  (d.  1498) 
Cosimo  Tura  died 
Andrea  Mantegna  born  (d.  1506) 
Mina  da  Fiesole  born  (d.  1484) 

Andrea  Verrocchio  born  (d.  1488) 
Andrea  della  Robbia  born  (d.  1525) 

Melozzo  da  Forli  born  (d.  1494) 
Cosimo  Rosselli  boin  (d.  1507) 

Luca  Signorelli  born  (d.  1523) 
Benedetto  da  Maianoborn  (d.  1497) 

Sandro  Botticelli  born  (d.  1510) 

Brunellescbi  died 

Perugino  born  (d.  1523  or  24) 

Francesco  Botticini  born  (d.  1498) 

Domenico  Ghirlandaioborn  (d.1494) 
Gentile  da  Fabriano  died 

Leonardi  da  Vinci  born  (d.  1519) 

Ghiberti  died 

Fra  Angelico  died 

Lorenzo  di  Credi  born  (d.  1537) 

Cronaca  born  (d.  1568  or  9) 

Filippino  Lippi  born  (d.  1504) 

Andrea  del  Castagno  died 

Piero  di  Cosimo  born  (d.  1521) 
Desiderio  da  Settignano  died 
Bernardo  Rossellino  died 









Giovanni  de'  Medici  died 

Niccold  da  Uzzano  died 
Marsilio  Ficino  born 
Cosimo  de'  Medici  banished,  Oct  3 
Cosimo  returned  to  povirer,  Sept.  29 
Banishment  of  Albizzi  and  Strozzi 
Francesco  Sforza  visited  Florence 
Brunelleschi's  dome  completed 
The  Duomo  consecrated 

Council  of  Florence 
Gemisthos  Plethon  in  Florence 
Cosimo  occupied  the  Medici  Palace 

Lorenzo  de'  Medici  (the  Magnificent 

Ghiberti's  second  gates  set  up 
Savonarola  born 
Politian  born 

Pico  della  Mirandola  born 
Cosimo  de'  Medici  died  and  wa! 
succeeded  by  Piero 

ENCE  AND  EUROPE,  1296-1564 




Pius  II 

Paul  II 



Louis  XI 


Edward  IV 

Some  Important  General  Dates. 



1435  («■) 







Siege  of  Orleans 

Joan  of  Arc  burnt 

Hans  Memling  born 

John  Gutenburg  printed  at 

Jack  Cade's  Insurrection 
Fall  of  Constantinople 

Beginning  of  the  Wars  of 
the  Roses 


Artists'  Dates. 

Some  Important  Fiorentine  Dates. 

Donatello  died 


Luca  Pitti's  Conspiracy 

jiovanni  della  Robbia  born  (d.  1529) 


Lorenzo's  Tournament,  Feb. 

Lippo  Lippi  died 

Lorenzo's    Marriage    to    Clarice 

Orsini,  June 
Death  of  Piero,  Dec. 
Niccolo  Machiavelli  born       [born 


Piero  de'  Medici,  son  of  Lorenzo, 
Visit  of  Galeazzo  Sforza  to  Florence 
Cennini's    Press     established     in 

Michelozzo  died 


SackofVolterra              [Florence 

Aiberti  died                           [1556) 

Benedetto  da  Rovezzano  born  (d. 


Ariosto  born 

Rustici  born  (d.  1554) 

Mariotto  Albertinelli  born  (d.  1515) 

Fra  Bartolommeo  born  (d.  15 17) 


Giuliano's  Tournament 

Michelangelo  Buonarroti  born  (d. 

Paolo  Uccello  died                 [1564) 

Titian  born  (d.  1576) 

Giorgione  born  (d.  1510I 
Antonio  Rossellino  diei 


Pazzi  Conspiracy 

Giuliano  murdered 


Lorenzo's  Mission  to  Naples 

Francia  Bigio  born  (d.  1525) 

Guicciardini  born  (d.  1540) 

Raphael  born  (d.  1520) 

Ridolfo  Ghirlandaio  born  (d,  1561) 

Mino  da  Fiesole  died 

Sebastiano  del  Piombo  born  (d.  1547) 

Jacopo  Sansovino  born  (d.  1570) 
Andrea  del  Sarto  born  (d.  1531) 

Verrocchio  died 

Baccio  Bandinelli  born  (d.  1560) 

Piero  della  Francesco  died 


Lorenzo  the  Magnificent  died 
Piero  succeeded 

Jacopo  da  Pontormo  born  (d.  1556) 


Charles  VIII  invaded  Italy 

Correggio  born  (d.  1534) 

Piero  banished 

Domenico  Ghirlandaio  died 

Charles  VIII  in  Florence.    Sack  of 

Melozzo  da  Forli  died 

Medici  Palace             [Council 
Florence    governed    by    General 
Savonarola  in  power 
Politian  died 
Pico  della  Mirandola  died 

NCE  A>fD  EUROPE,  1296-1664 




jixtus  IV 




Alex.  VI 








Some  Important  General  Dates. 


1470  (c.) 

Edward  V 
Richard  III 

Henry  VII 










Erasmus  born  (d.  1528) 

Mabuse  born  (d.  1555) 
Albert  Durer  born  (d.  1528) 
Caxton's   Press    established 
in  Westminster 

Chevalier  Bayard  born 

Hugo  van  der  Goes  died 

Rabelais  born  (d.  1553) 
Martin  Luther  born 
Murder  of  the  Princes  in  the 

Ignatius  Loyola  born 
America  discovered  by  Chris- 

topher Columbus 
Lucas    van    Leyden 
(d.  1533) 




Artists'  Dates. 

Some  Important  Florentine  Dates. 


Benedetto  da  Maiano  died 


Francesco  Valori  elected   G( 

Benozzo  Gozzoli  died 

Piero     attempted     to     return 

Savonarola  burnt 


Antonio  Pollaiuolo  died 


Francesco  Botticini  died 


Alessio  Baldovinetti  died 


Marsilio  Ficino  died 
Amerigo  Vespucci  reached  Ami 


Benvenuto  Cellini  born  (d.  1572) 



Angelo  Bronzlno  born  (d.  1572) 


Death  of  Piero  di  Medici 


Filippino  Lippi  died 


Mantegna  died 


Cosimo  Rosselli  died 


Cronaca  died 


Botticelli  died 
Giorgione  died 


Vasari  born  (d.  1574) 


Cardinal  Giovanni  and  Giuli 
Duke  of  Nemours,  reinst 
in  Florence 

Great  Council  abolished 


Albertinelli  died 

15 16 

Giovanni  Bellini  died 


Fra  Bartolommeo  died 


Tintoretto  born  (d.  1594) 


Leonardo  da  Vinci  died 


Cardinal  Giulio  de'  Medici  in  p 
Catherine  de'  Medici  born 


Raphael  died 


Piero  di  Cosimo  died 


Signorelli  died 

Perugino  died 

[in  pi 


Giovanni  da  Bologna  born  (d.  1608) 


Ippolito  and  Alessandro  de'  M 


Andrea  delta  Robbia  died 

Francia  Bigio  died 


Death  of  Giovanni  delle  Bande '. 


Ippolito     and     Alessandro 


Paolo  Veronese  born  (d.  1588) 
Federigo  Baroccio  born  (d.  1612) 


Machiavelli  died 


Giovanni  della  Robbia  died 



Siege  of  Florence 


Capitulation  of  Florence 

■JCE  AND  EUROPE,  1296-1564 





Louis  XII 

Pius  III 
fulius  II 









Henry  VIII 

Francis  I 





Some  Important  General  Dates. 

1505        John  Knox  born  (d.  158a) 


Calvin  born 

1516        Mote's  Utopiff.  published 




[(Ferd.  Magellan) 
First  Voyage  round  the  world 
Conquest  of  Mexico 
Field  of  the  Cloth  of  Gold 


Btantdme  born  (d.  1614) 
Albert  Diirer  died 



Artists'  Dates. 

Some  Important  Florentine  Dates. 


Andrea  del  Sarto  died 


Alessandro    de'    Medici   decli 
Head  of  the  Republic 


Corieggio  died 


Credi  died 


Cosiroo  de'  Medici  made  Rule 
Battle  of  Montemurlo 
Lorenzino  assassinated  in  Veni 
Cosimo  married  Eleanora  di  To 
and  moved  to  Palazzo  Veo 


Sebastiano  del  Piombo  died 


Rustici  died 


Cosimo  occupied  the  Pitti  Pala 


Pontormo  died 

Benedetto  da  Rovezzano  died 


Baccio  Bandinelli  died 
Ridolfo  Ghirlandaio  died 


Michael  Angelo  died 


Galileo  Galilei  born 

2NCE  AND  EUROPE,  1296-1564 



Paul  III 

[ulius  III 


Paul  IV 

Pius  IV 


Henry  II 


Francis  II 


Charles  IX 


Edward  VI 





Some  Important  General  Dates. 







Conquest  of  Peru 

Montaigne  born  (d.  1592) 

Henry  VIII  became  Supreme 

Head  of  the  Church 
Sack  of  Rome 

Torquato  Tasso  born 

Edmund  Spenser  born 
Execution  of  Lady  Jane  Grey 
Sir  Philip  Sidney  born 
Ridley,    Latimer,    Cranraer 

Calais    recaptured    by    the 

Shakespeare  born 


"Abundance,"  by  Donatello,  268, 

Accademia,  the,  224-41. 

Acciaioli  family,  and  the  Certosa, 

Albany,  the  Countess  of,  212. 

Alberti,  Leon  Battista,  his  tomb  and 
career,  218. 

his     Rucellai    palace     and 

chapel,  2go-gi. 

and  S.  Maria  Novella,  297. 

Albeitinelli,  Mariotto,  119, 146, 236. 

Alessandro,  bastard  son  of  Giulio 
de'  Medici,  63,  65,  335. 

Alexander  VI  and  Savonarola,  262. 

Alfieri,  his  tomb,  212. 

Alloii,  Cristofano,  336,  339. 

Ambrogio,  S.,  180. 

"  Amico  di  Sandro,"  139,  338. 

Ammanati,  99,  327. 

Andersen,  Hans  Christian,  317. 

Angelico,  Fra,  at  the  Uffizi,  118, 148. 

at  S.  Domenico,  168. 

attheAccademia,  227-30, 235. 

his  life,  228. 

at  S.  Marco,  257-8. 

Annunziata,  SS.,  church  of,  275-8. 

Antiquities,  the  museum  of,  281-3. 

Antonio,  S.,  the  "  Good  Arch- 
bishop," 258-60,  266. 

Apostoli,  SS.,  church  of,  294. 

Aquinas,  S.  Thomas,  309. 

Arnolfo  and  the  Duorao,  4. 

—  and  S.  Croce,  209. 

Arte  della  Lana,  95. 

Artists'  names,  133, 

Austrian  Grand  Dukes,  the,  and  the 
Uffizi,  III. 

Badia  of  Fiesole,  the,  168. 
—  of  Florence,  the,  170. 

Baldovinetti,    Alessio,    his    career, 

at  S.  Trinita,  323. 

at  S.  Miniato,  365. 

Bande  Nere,  Giovanni  delle,  66,  72. 
Bandinelli,     his     "  Hercules     and 
Cacus,"  98. 

—  and  Michelanglo's  cartoon,  105. 
Bandini,  Bernardo,  17,  ig. 
Baptistery,  the,  its  mosaics,  41. 
and  Dante,  41. 

its  doors,  43-7. 

Bardi  family,  the,  217. 
Bargello,  the,  182-205. 
Baroccio,  Federigo,  155. 
Bartolommeo,   Fra,   at   the   Uffizi, 
119,  148. 

at  the  Accademia,  235, 

his  career,  236. 

and  Savonarola,  265,  266. 

at  the  Pitti,  330,  331,    332, 

Beatrice  and  Dante,  174. 
Bellini,  Giovanni,  123. 
Berenson,    Mr.,    and    "Amico    di 

Sandro,"  139,  338. 
Bigallo,  the,  go. 
Boateri,  Jacopo  de',  338. 
Boboli  gardens,  the,  341. 
Boccaccino,  Boccaccio,  336. 
Boccaccio  and  the  Villa  Palmieri, 


—  and  S.  Maria  Novella,  298. 
Bologna,  Gian,  gg. 

at  the  Bargello,  ig8. 

and  Duke  Ferdinand,  279. 

—  Giovanni,  at  the  Boboli,  342. 
Botticelli,  his  Pazzi  cartoon,  19. 

—  at  the  Uffizi,  I32-44- 

—  at  the  Accademia,  1381  237i  239- 

—  and  Savonarola,  r3g-4i- 




Botticelli,  his  S.  Augustine,  28g. 

—  at  the  Corsini,  2g2. 

—  and  the  Pitti,  338,  341. 
Botticini,  165, 

—  and  various  descriptions,  240. 

—  at  the  Pitti,  339. 
Bracciolini  ("  Poggio  "),  14. 
Brancacci,  Chapel,  at  the  Carmine, 

135.  361. 
Branconi,  Alfred,  the  guide,  186,210. 
Bronzino  at  the  Uffizi,  146, 155, 159. 

—  his  Accademia  tapestries,  241. 

—  at  the  Pitti,  339. 

Browning,   Elizabeth   Barrett,   her 
grave,  285. 

—  Robert,  at  Vallombrosa,  249. 
and  "  the  Statue    and    the 

Bust,"  279. 

and  Landor,  352,  353. 

Brownings,  the,  in  Florence,  344-5. 
Brunelleschi,  his  pareer,  8. 

—  and  the  Duomo,  9. 

—  and  Florence,  10,  11. 

—  his  lantern  model,  33. 

—  and  S.  Lorenzo,  74. 

—  his  Baptistery  competition  relief, 


—  and  Donatello's  crucifix,  217. 

—  and  the  Pazzi  chapel,  221. 

—  and  the  Pitti,  326. 

—  and  S.  Spirito,  358. 

Bruni,  Leonardo,  his  tomb,  Z13. 
"  Brutus  "  of  Michelangelo,  189. 
Buifalmacco,  171. 
Bugiardini,  338. 
Buonuomini,  the,  260. 

"  Calumny,  The,"  by  Botticelli,  140. 
Campanile,  the,  its  growth,  2. 

its  statues,  38, 

■  its  reliefs,  39. 

the  view  from  the  top,  40. 

Charles  V's  comment,  64. 

compared  with  Palazzo  Vec- 

chio  tower,  97. 
Capella,  Bianca,  her  story,  356-8. 
"  Capparo,  II,"  53- 
Capponi,  Piero,  and  the  bells,  97. 
Carmine,  the,  and  Michelangelo,  80. 

—  the  church  of,  358-61. 
Carpaccio,  123.    . 
Carrand  Collection,  195. 

"  Casa  Guidi,"  344. 
Cascine,  the,  286-8. 
Castagno,  Andrea  del,  255. 
Cavalcanti,  Guido,  175. 
Charles  V  and  Clement  VII,  64. 
Charles  VIII  and  Florence,  261,  263. 
Cellini,  Benvenuto,and  Cosimo  1, 68. 

his  Autobiography,  103. 

his  "Perseus,"  103. 

at  the  Bargello,  198. 

Cennini,  Bernardo,  318. 

Certosa,  the,  242-4. 

Cimabue  and  the  history  of  art,  231. 

—  at  the  Accademia,  231. 
-T-  at  S.  Maria  Novella,  303. 
Clement  VII.   See  Giulio  de'  Medici. 
Correggio,  at  the  Uffizi,  150. 
Corsini  palace,  the,  292. 

Cosimo,  Piero  di,  his  career,  271. 
Council,  the,  of  1439,  23-3^  54. 
Credi,  Lorenzo  di,  120,  123,  131. 
Croce,  S.,  207-23, 297. 
Cronaca,  his  Great  Council  Hall, 

Dante  and  the  Duomo,  5. 

—  and  Giotto,  6,  7. 

—  his  picture  in  the  Duomo,  13.  , 

—  the  Italian  Dante  Society,  95. 

—  his  life-story,  173-7. 

—  and  modern  Florence,  177, 

—  his  alleged  house,  177. 

—  painted  by  Giotto,  i^. 

—  his  memorial,  207. 
Davanzati,  Palazzo,  318. 
David  of  Michelangelo,  98,  225. 

—  as  a  Florentine  hero,  186. 
Dickens  in  Florence,  179,  335. 
Dolci,  Carlo,  132,  292. 

Dominic,  S.,  and  S.  Marco,  257,  266. 

—  and  S.  Maria  Novella,  308. 
Donatello,  his  "  Poggio,"  ,14. 

—  his  Duomo  cantopa,  32-3. 

—  at  Prato,  33,  230. 

—  his  campanile  statues,  38. 

—  and  Michelozzo  at  the  Baptis- 

tery, 42. 

—  and  the  Baptistery  doors,  45. 

—  his    "Judith  and    Holofernes," 

61,  102. 

—  and  S.  Lorenzo,  73-6. 

—  and  Or  San  Michele,  94. 



Donatello,  his  "  Marzocco,"  99. 

—  and  Uccello,  130,  192. 

—  and  the  antiques,  160. 

—  a  wayside  relief,  181. 

—  at  the  Bargello,  187, 191-5. 

—  his"  Davids"  considered,  187. 

—  his  life,  191-3. 

—  his    S.  Croce    "  Annunciation," 


—  and  Brunelleschi's  crucifix,  217. 

—  and  the  Capella  Pazzi,  221. 

—  at  the  Capella  Medici,  221. 

—  and  his  figure  of  "  Abundance," 

268,  313. 

—  at  S.  Marco,  268. 
Donati,  Corso,  174. 
Doni,  Angelo,  123,  331. 
Dossi,  Dosso,  335,  339. 
Drawings  in  the  Uffizi,  115. 
Duccio,  Agostino  di,  34. 
Duomo,  the,  first  impressions,  2. 

its  beginnings,  4. 

its  glass,  25. 

its  spell,  26. 

its  museum,  32. 

Durer,  at  the  UfiBzi,  149,  157. 

—  at  the  Pitti,  335. 

Eqidio,  S.,  181. 
English  Cemetery,  the,  285. 
Etruscan  remains  at  Fiesole,  167. 
the    Museum    of    Anti- 
quities, 281. 

Fabriano,  Gentile  da,  ?33. 

Fabris,  Emilio  de,  11. 

Ficino,  Marsilio,  235-55. 

in  S.  Maria   Novella  firesco, 

Field,  Miss,  and  Landor,  353. 
Fiesole,  163-7. 

—  Mino  da,  at  Fiesole,  166. 

his  tombs  in  the  Badia,  171. 

his  deathr  172. 

his  grave,  180. 

his  tabernacle,  180. 

a  wayside  relief,  i?i. 

at  the  Bargello,  .201. 

Flemish  painters  at  the  Uffizi,  152- 

Florence  and  the  Renaissance,  1. 

—  its  noises,  2. 


Florence,  its  wealth  in  the  fourteenth 
century,  36. 

—  from  the  Campanile,  40. 

—  its  history  evaded,  51. 

—  and  the  Medici,  70. 

—  its  guilds,  95. 

—  charges     for     museums     and 

galleries,  113. 

—  its  music  hall,  314. 

—  its  restaurants,  316. 

—  its  survivals  from  the  past,  320- 

Florentines,  illustrious,  their  Uffizi 
statues,  112,  113. 

—  their  character,  314-6. 
Forli,  Melozzo  da,  146. 

"  Fortitude,"  by  Botticelli,  144. 
Francesca,  Piero  della,  147. 
Francesco     de'     Vanchetoni,     S., 

church  of,  291. 
Franchetti  Collection,  204. 
Franciabigio  at  the  Uffizi,  150. 

—  at   the    Chiostro   dello  Scalzo, 


—  at  SS.  Annunziata,  275. 

—  his  career,  275. 

Fraticis   I   of  France   and  Italian 

artists,  129,  274. 
Francis,  S.,  and  the  S.  Croce  pulpit, 

frescoes,  216. 

his  robe  at  SS.   Ognissanti^ 

in  fresco,  323. 

Gaddi,  Taddeo,  his  "  Last  Supper," 

and  the  Ponte  Vecchio,  294. 

Galileo,  his  tomb,  2ig. 

—  relics  of,  356. 
Gemisthos,  Georgius,  24,  55. 

"  George,  S.,"  of  Donatello,  193,. 
Gesu  Morto,  procession  at  Giassina, 

Ghiberti  and  Brunelleschi,  g. 

—  and  the  Duomo,  10. 

—  and  S.  Zenobius,  22. 

^.  and  his  Baptistery  doors,  43-7, 

— .  and  Or  San  Michele,  94,  95. 

—  his  workshop,  182. 

—  his  S.  Croce  windpw,  208. 



Ghiberti,  his  birthplace,  246. 
Ghirlandaio,  Domenico,  and  Michel- 
angelo, 78. 
his  Palazzo  Vecchio  fresco, 


at  the  Uifizi,  124. 

at  the  Accademia,  234. 

at  S.  Marco,  267. 

at  S.  Triniti,  270,  321-3. 

at  the  Spedale,  280. 

his  S.  Jerome,  289. 

his    SS.    Ognissanti    "Last 

Supper,"  290. 

his  life,  299-304. 

his  S.  Maria  Novella  frescoes, 


—  Ridolfo,  145,  329,  339. 
Giorgio,  S.,  its  gate,  363. 
Giorgione  at  the  Uifizi,  121. 

—  at  the  Pitti,  329. 

Giotto  and  the  Renaissance,  i. 

—  and  the  holy  water  receptacle, 


—  his  career,  6. 

—  his  humour,  7. 

—  his  Campanile  begun,  36. 

—  and  the  Campanile  reliefs,  39. 

—  his  portrait  of  Dante,  184. 

—  his  S.  Croce  frescoes,  215,  216. 

—  his    Capella    Medici    painting, 


—  and  the  history  of  art,  232. 

—  at  the  Accademia,  232. 

—  at  S.  Maria  Novella,  310. 

—  and  Ghirlandaio,  323. 

—  and  Raphael,  332. 

—  and  Masaccio,  359. 

Goes,  Hugo  van  der,  his  triptych, 

Gozzoli,  Benozzo,  bis  Medici  palace 

frescoes,  54-6. 
Qianacci,  Francesco,  120. 
Grassina,  the    procession  of  Gesu 

Morto,  250-3. 
Great  Council  Hall,  the,  104-7. 
Grosso,  Niccolo,  his  eccentricities, 

Gualberto,  S.  Giovanni,  and  Vallom- 
brosa,  248. 

—  his  crucifix,  321. 

—  his  conversion,  366.  - 
Guilds,  the,  of  Florence,  95. 

Hawkwood,  Sir  John,  14. 
Hazlitt  calls  on  Landor,  348. 
■'  Hercules  and  Cacus,"  98. 
Honthorst,  Gerard,  156. 

Ignoto,  his  good  painting,  128,  236. 

—  his  good  sculpture,  200. 
Impruneta  and   its  della   Robbias, 

Iscrizioni  at  the  Uffizi,  160. 

Jacopo  of  Portugal,  Cardinal,  his 

tomb,  365. 
Joanna  of  Austria,  103. 
John  XXin,  his  monument,  42. 
"  Judith  and  Holofernes,"  by  Dona- 

tello,  102. 

by  Botticelli,  186. 

Judas  in  fresco,  223,  25";,  290. 
Julius    II    and    Michelangelo,    81, 

226,  342. 

—  his    portrait    by    Raphael,   149, 

292,  335- 

Lando,  Michele,  318. 

Landor,  Walter  Savage,  his  grave, 


his  career,  346-54. 

Laurenziana,  Biblioteca,  88. 
Lely,  Sir  Peter,  157,  339. 
Leo  X.     See  Giovanni  de'  Medici. 
Lippi,  Filippino,  at  the  UfEzi,  127, 

146,  148. 

his  portrait  by  Botticelli,  135. 

at  the  Badia,  170. 

at  Prato,  250.   > 

at  the  Corsini,  292. 

at  S.  Maria  Novella,  306. 

at  the  Pitti,  337. 

—  Fra  Lippo,  and  S.  Lorenzo,  74. 
at  the  Uffizi,  124. 

at  the  Accademia,  230,  238. 

at  Prato,  250. 

at  the  Corsini,  292, 

Loggia  de'  Lanzi,  loi. 
Lorenzo,  S.,  its  facade,  71. 

its  treasures,  73-88. 

the  cloisters,  87. 

Louvre,  the,  and  Uccello,  192. 

—  its  Renaissance  sculpture,  205. 

—  and  Ghirlandaio,  300. 

—  and  Leonardo,  340. 



Lowell,  James  Russell,  in  Florence, 

Machiavelli,  his  tomb,  213. 

—  at  S.  Casciano,  244. 
"Madonna    del     Cardellino,"    by 

Raphael,  150. 
",  Madonna     del     Granduca,"     by 

Raphael,  330. 
"  Madonna  del  Pozzo,"  by  Fiancia- 

bigio,  150. 
"Madonna  del  Sacco,"  by  Andrea 

del  Sarto,  278. 
"  Madonna  della  Sedia,"  by  Raphael, 

Maiano,    Benedetto    da,    and    the 
Duomo,  II. 

at  the  Bargello,  igg. 

his  S.  Croce  pulpit,  210. 

at  S.  Maria  Novella,  306. 

—  —  and  Ghirlandaio,  322. 

—  Giuliano  da,  11. 

Mainardi,  Bastiano,and  Ghirlandaio, 

Mantegna,   Andrea,   at  the   Uffizi, 


—  at  the  Pitti,  339. 
Maroc,  S.,  Museo  of,  256-68. 

church  of,  268-70. 

Market,  the  Old,  217,  313. 

—  the  New,  317. 
Maria  Nuova,  S.,  181. 

—  Novella,  S.,  church  of,  297-3"- 
Marsuppini,  Carlo,  his  tomb,  219. 
Martini,  Simone,  118. 
Marzocco,  the,  gg,  195. 
Masaccio  and  the  Baptistery  doors, 


—  and  Michelangelo,  80. 

—  and  the  history  of  art,  232. 

—  at  the  Accademia,  239. 

—  at  S.  Maria  Novella,  305. 

—  his  Carmine  firescoes,  358-61. 

—  his  life,  359. 
Masolino,  359. 

Medals  at  the  Bargello,  202. 
Medici,    Alessandro    de',    son    of 
Clement  VII,  63. 

his  triumph,  65. 

his  death,  66. 

Anna  Maria  Ludovica,  69. 

de',  III. 

Medici,  Catherine  de',  62. 

—  Clarice  de',  324. 

—  ClementVII,  son  of  Giuliano  de' 

Medici,  63. 

his  intrigues,  63. 

and  Charles  V,  64. 

and  Michelangelo,  83. 

—  Cosimo  de',  "  Father  of  his  Coun- 

try," and  the  Great  Council, 


his  rule  and  character,  57-9. 

his  favourite  church,  72. 

his  tomb,  72. 

and  S.  Marco,  256-8. 

—  Cosimo  I,  his  character  and  rule, 


his  statue,  100. 

and  Etruscan  remains,  282. 

his  column,  323.  • 

and  the  Strozzi,  325. 

Francis  I  de',  and  Bianca   Ca- 
pella,  356-8. 

—  Gian  Gastone  de',  327. 

—  Giovanni  de',  "  II  Bicci,"  44,  56, 

75.  296. 
(Leo  X),  son  of  Lorenzo,  the 

magnificent,  62. 

and  Michelangelo,  82. 

made  a  cardinal,  168. 

his  christening,  303. 

his  portrait,  334. 

—  Giuliano  de',  his  death,  18. 

and  Botticelli,  138,  139,  142. 

Duke  of  Nemours,  62. 

his  tomb,  84. 

—  Giulio    de'    (Clement  VII),  his 

illegitimate  son,  63. 

and  Florence,  64. 

and  Charles  V,  64,  83. 

and  Michelangelo,  83. 

his  character,  334. 

—  Ippolito  de',  65. 

his  portrait  and  career,  336. 

—  Lorenzino  de',  as  Brutus,  66. 

—  Lorenzo  de',  "The  Magnificent," 

and  the  Pazzi  Conspiracy, 

his  rule  and  character,   59- 


his  descendants,  66. 

and  Michelangelo,  80. 

his  tomb,  85. 



Medici,  Lorenzo  de',  and  his  tourna- 
ments, 137-9,  207. 

and  Savonarola,  261. 

and  Botticelli,  341. 

Duke  of  Urbino,  62. 

his  tomb,  84. 

—  Piero    de',     "IlGottoso,"    and 

Gozzoli,  55. 

his  rule  and  character,  59. 

and  Botticelli,  134-6. 

and  SS.  Arinunziata,  277. 

—  Piero  di  Lorenzo  de',  61,  139. 

—  Capella,  the,  at  S.  Croce,  220. 

—  gardens,  the,  270. 

—  Grand  Dukes  and  their  tombs, 


—  Palazzo,  its  vicissitudes,  52. 

its  frescoes,  54-6. 

and  Lander,  347. 

—  Palle,  the,  30,  53. 

—  the,  as  picture  collectors,   no, 


—  Villa,  the,  i6s, 
Medusa,  the  head  of,  158. 
Memmi,  Lippo,  118. 
Michelangelo,  his  last  Piet^,  21. 

—  and  the  S.  Lorenzo  facade,  71. 

—  his  S.  Lorenzo  sacristy,  77,  78, 


—  his  career,  78-86. 

—  and  the  Julius  tomb,  81, 226,  342. 

—  his  "  David,"  98,  225. 

—  his  house,  87. 

—  his  historical  cartoon,  105. 

—  and  Angelo  Doni,  125. 

—  and  Luca  Signorelli,  125. 

—  at  the  UflSzi,  123. 

—  at  the  Bargello,  185-90. 

—  his  tomb  at  S.  Croce,  211. 

—  at  the  Accademia,  225-7. 

—  and  Andrea  del  Sarto,  273. 

—  his  Piazzale,  363. 

Michele,  Giovanni  di,  at  S.  Croce, 


Michelozzo,  his  Prato  pulpit,  33. 

—  his  statue  of  the  Baptist,  34. 

—  at  the  Baptistery,  42. 

—  and  Or  San  Michele,  94,  95. 

—  at  SS.  Annunziata,  277,  278. 
Milton,  John,  at  Vallombrosa,  247. 

in  Florence,  346. 

Miniato,  S,,  the  church  of,  364-6. 

Mirandola,  Pico  della,  at  the  Badia 

of  Fiesole,  168. 

his  career,  268. 

Misericordia,  the,  91. 
Monaco,  Lprenzo,  11^. 
Montefeltro,  Federigo  da,  Duke  of 

Urbino,  147. 

National  Gallery  compared  with 

Florence  galleries,  340. 
Natural  History  Museum,  355. 
Nicholas  V  and  S.  Marco,  256. 
Niobe  and  her  children,  100. 
Nori,  Francesco,  212. 

OghTissanti,  SS.,  church  of,  289. 
"  Old    Pictures    in    Florence,"    by 

Browning,  345. 
Or  San  Michele,  91-5. 
Orcagna,    Andrea,    and    Or    San 
Michele,  92. 

his  Loggia,  loi. 

at  the  Uffizi,  120. 

at  S.  Maria  Novella,  307. 

Painting,  the  evolution  of,  231,359. 
Palaces,  the  old,  178. 
Pallone,  the  game  of,  287. 
Palmieri,  Villa,  the,  164. 

—  and  Botticelli,  165. 
Paolo,  S.,  Loggia  of,  311. 
Passage  between  Pitti  and  Uffizi, 

no,  115,  327. 
Pater,  Walter,  on  Botticelli,  142. 

—  or  Giorgione,  329. 
Pazzi  Conspiracy,  the,''l6-20. 

—  the,  and  the  Holy  Land,  27. 

—  and  the  Scoppio  del  Carro,  27. 

—  Chapel,  the,  221. 

—  Jacopo  de',  his  disinterment,  222. 

—  S.  Maria  Maddalena  de',  284. 
Pelago,  246. 

"  Perseus,"  by  Cellini,  102, 198. 
Perugino  at  the  Accademia,  237. 

—  his  triptych  and  life,  284. 

—  at  the  Pitti,  331,  338. 
Peruzzi  family,  the,  217. 
Piazza  della  Signoria,  96-103. 

—  di  S.  Croce,  207. 

—  di  S.  Maria  Novella,  311. 

—  Vittorio  Emmanuele,  313. 
Piazzale  Michelangelo,  363. 



Piombo,  Sebastian  del,  150,  339. 
Piozzi,  Mrs.,  quoted,  212,  292. 
Pisano,  Andiea,  and  the  Daomo,  8. 
and  the  Campanile  reliefs,  39. 

—  —  his  Baptistety  doors,  43. 

—  Niccola,  4. 
Pitti,  Luca,  his  revolt,  134. 

—  Palace,  the,  326-43. 

the,  its  best  picture,  329. 

the  royal  apartments,  340. 

Platonic    Academy,    the,   24,   168 

"  Poggio."     See  Bracciolini. 
Politian  and  the  Pazzi  conspiracy,i9, 
' —  his  "  Giostra,"  137. 

—  and  the  death  of  Lorenzo,  261. 

—  his  career,  269. 

—  in  S.  Maria  Novella  firesco,  303. 
Pollaiuolo,  Antonio,  his  Baptist  re 

lief,  34. 

and  Ghiberti,  46. 

at  the  UiBzi,  144. 

at  the  Bargello,  199. 

at  S.  Marco,  S67. 

at  the  Pitti,  338,  339. 

Poutassieve,  246. 
Ponte  Trinita,  292. 

—  Vecchio,  294. 
Porta  S.  Giorgio,  363. 

Miniato,  363. 

Niccolb,  364. 

—  Romana,  363. 
Portigiani,  Pagno  di  Lapo,  34,  42. 
"  Primavera,"  by  Botticelli,  137, 237. 
Portinari,  Folco,  181. 

—  Tommaso,  152. 
Prato,  Donatello's  pulpit  at,  33. 

—  its  treasures,  249. 
Pretender,  the  Young,  212. 

Raphael  as  architect,  100. 

—  at  the  Uffizi,  149,  iSo- 
_  and  Andrea  del  Sarto,  273. 

—  at  the  Corsini,  292. 

—  at  the  Pitti,  329,  330,  331,  333, 

334.  335- 
Rembrandt,  159. 
_  at  the  Pitti,  333. 
Renaissance,  the,  i,  25. 
Reni,  Guido,  292,  336. 
Robinson,  Crabb,  and  Landor,  438. 

Robbia,  Andrea  della,  at  S.  Egidio, 

at  the  Bargello,  203. 

at  S.  Croce,  214. 

in  the  Capella  Medici,  221. 

at  the  Pazzi  chapel,  222. 

at  S.  Marco,  267. 

at  the  Spedale,  280. 

—  Luca,  his  Duomo  doors,  20. 

his  Duomo  reliefs,  20. 

his  cantoria,  32^,  33-96. 

and  the  Campanile,  39. 

and  the  Baptistery  doors,  45. 

and  Or  San  Michele,  95. 

his  art  and  genius,  202-4. 

della,  and  Raphael,  332. 

Robbias,  della,  at  Impruneta,  245. 

at  SS.  Apostoli,  294. 

at  S.  Maria  Novella,  307. 

at  S.  Paolo,  311. 

at  S.  Trinita,  321. 

at  S.  Miniato,  363. 

Romano,  Giulio,  339. 

"  Romola"  and  Savonarola,  265. 

—  and  Florence,  362. 
Rosa,  Salvator,  339. 

Roselli,  Cosimo,  120, 130, 146, 180. 
Rossellino,  Antonio,  200. 

a  boy's  head,  291. 

his  tomb  at  S.  Miniato,  363. 

Bernardo,   his   Madonna  at  S. 

Croce,  211. 
Rossini,  his  tomb,  213. 
Rovere,  Vittoria  della,  IS4- 
Rovezzano,  Benedetto  da,  190. 

at  S.  Trinita,  321. 

Rubens  at  the  Uffizi,  154,  156. 

—  at  the  Pitti,  333,  335- 
Rucellai  family,  290,  297. 
Ruskin  and  Giotto,  7.  3^°- 
at  S.  Maria  Novella,  310. 

—  and  the  Campanile,  39. 

—  and  S.  Croce,  209. 
Rustici,  his  career,  48. 

—  his  Baptistery  group,  49. 

Salvatore,  S.,  the  church  of,  365. 

Salviati,  Archbishop,  16,  18.  _ 

San   Giovanni,   Giovanni    di,   157, 

169,  182. 
Sansovino,  Andrea,  igg. 

—  Jacopo,  200. 



Sansovino,  Jacopo,  and  Andrea  del 
Sarto,  272. 

Sarto,  Andrea  del,  and  liis  con- 
fectionery, 48. 

at  the  Ufiizi,  145. 

at  the  Accademia,  Z31,  239. 

at  the  Chiostro  dello  Scalzo, 


his  career,  271-4. 

at  SS.  Annunziata,  275,  278. 

his  house,  281. 

at  the  Pitti,  329,  330,  331, 

332i  333,  334.  337- 

his  copy  of  Raphael,  335. 

Sassetti  family,  321. 

Savonarola,  his  terrible  eloquence, 


—  his  statue,  106, 

—  his  prison,  108. 

—  and  Botticelli,  139-41, 

—  his  intaglio  portrait,  149,  151. 

—  and  Fra  Bartolommeo,  236,  265, 


—  his  career,  260-66. 
Scoppio  del  Carro,  the,  27-32. 
Seghers,  Hercules,  159. 
Sellsuo,  Jacopo  del,  338. 
Settignano,  167. 

—  Desiderio  da,  and  S.  Lorenzo, 


his  S.  Croce  tomb,  219. 

and  the  Pazzi  chapel,  221. 

on  Good  Friday,  252. 

a  boy's  head,  291, 

at  S.  Trinity,  321. 

Shelley,  Percy  Bysshe,  his  ancestor, 


—  and  the  Medusa,  158. 

—  in  Florence,  286. 

Signorelli,  Luca,  at  the  U£fizi,   126. 

his  life,  126. 

his  wild  flowers,  127. 

at  the  Accademia,  238. 

Signoria,  Piazza  della,  and  Savona- 
rola, 264. 
Simonetta,  137-9. 
Sixtus  IV  and  the  Medici,  16. 
Sogliani,  Gio  Antonio,  120. 
Spanish  Chapel,  the,  308. 
Spedale  degli  Innocent!,  280. 
Spini  family,  322, 
Spirito,  S.,  church  of,  358. 

"Statue  and  the  Bust,  The,"  by 

Browning,  344. 
Stefano,  S.,  church  of,  295. 
Storia  Naturale,  Museo  di,  355. 
Strozzi,    Clarice,     at    the    Medici 

palace,  64. 

—  Filippo,  his  tomb,  306. 

—  Palazzo,  324. 
Sustermans  at  the  UiSzi,  154. 

—  at  the  Pitti,  329. 

Tacca,    Pietro,    at   the    Bargello, 

and  John  of  Bologna,  279. 

his  boar,  317. 

Talenti  and  the  Campanile,  37. 

—  and  S.  Maria  Novella,  297. 
Tapestries  at  the  Bargello,  204. 

—  at  the  Accademia,  241. 

—  at  the  Museum  of  Antiquities, 

Tintoretto  at  the  Uffizi,  123. 

—  at  the  Pitti,  332,  333,  339. 
Titian  at  the  UfBzi,  122,  149. 

—  at    the    Pitti,    332,    334,    336, 

Toledo,  Eleanora  da,  and  her  burial 

dress,  77. 

her  portrait,  155. 

and  the  Spanish  chapel,  308. 

Tornabuoni,  Giovanni,  and    Ghir- 

landaio,  302. 

—  Lorenzo,  303. 

—  Lucrezia,    wife    of    Piero    de' 

Medici,  136. 
Torrigiano  and  Michelangelo's  nose, 

Triniti,  S.,  church  of,  321. 

Ubertini,  338. 

Uccello,  Paolo,  his  picture  of  Sir 
John  Hawkwood,  14. 

and  Ghiberti,  46. 

at  the  Uffizi,  130. 

and  Donatello,  130,  192. 

Uffizi,  the,  109-62. 

its  structure,  log. 

its  collectors,  110-12. 

its  portico  statues,  112-3. 

best  picture,  116. 

its  autograph  portraits,  151. 

Uzzano,  Niccold  da,  57,  296. 



Vacca,  II,  97. 

Vallombrosa,  245-9. 

Van  Dyck  at  the  Uffizi,  149, 150, 155. 

at  the  Pitti,  334. 

Vasari  on  Giotto,  7. 

—  on  Brunelleschi,  10. 

—  and  Michelangelo,  21. 

—  and  S.  Croce,  209,  211. 

—  on  Fra  Angelico,  228,  257. 

—  and  his  Castagno  blunders,  255. 
Vecchio,  Palazzo,  the,  and  Michel- 
angelo's cartoon,  81. 

its  history,  96-8,  103-8. 

and  Savonarola,  263. 

Venetian  pictures  in  the  Uffizi,  121- 

Veronese,  Paolo,  124,  336. 
Veirochio,  his  Baptist  relief,  34. 

—  and  S.  Lorenzo,  73,  76. 

—  his  Cupid  and  dolphin,  103. 

—  at  the  Bargello,  187, 195-7,  200. 

—  his  "  David  "  considered,  187. 

—  his     "  Bartolommeo    CoUeoni," 


—  his  life,  ig6. 

—  his  "  Baptism,''  239. 

—  and  Ghirlandaio,  301. 
Vespucci,  Amerigo,  289. 

Victoria  and  Albert  Museum,  205. 
Villa  Landor,  the,  349. 

—  Karolath,  363. 

—  Medici,  165. 

—  Palmieri,  164. 

—  Poggio  del  Gherardesco,  168. 
Villani,  Giovanni,  36,  318. 

Vinci,  Leonardo  da,  and  the  little 
birds,  48. 

his  historical  cartoon,  105. 

at  the  Uffizi,  128. 

his  career,  128. 

his  doom,  129. 

his  putative  "  Medusa,"  158. 

and  Verrochio's  "  Baptism," 


his  "  Last  Supper,"  255. 

"  Vita  Nuova,"  the,  173. 

Vittorio  Emmanuele,  Piazza,  312-6. 

Warriors  return  to  Florence,  316. 
Wordsworth  and  Dante,  5. 

—  and  Milton,  247. 

Zenobius,    S.,    his    career     and 

miracles,  21,  22,  145. 
"  Zuccone,  II,  "  38. 




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Sir  Evelyn  Wood,  F.M.,  V.C. 
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•John  Bons,  King  or  tkb  Wa-Kikuvd. 

John  Boyes. 
Lju>t  WiHsntMxu's  Fan.    Oscar  Wilde. 
Lrmxs   rROH  a  SBLr-MASK   Mbkchant 

TO  HIS  Son.    George  Horace  Lorimer. 
Lin  OT  John  Roskin,  Thk.    W.  G.  CoIUde- 



Graham  Balfour. 

•Lira  OP  Tcnnyson,  The.    A.  C.  Benson. 
•Little  op  Evbetthing,  A.    E.  V.  Lucas. 
Lord  AXTHUX  Savile's  Crime.  Oscar  Wilde. 
Lore  of  the  Honet-Bee,  The,     Ticknei 

Man  and  the  Universe.  '  Sir  Oliver  Lodge 
Mart   Magdalene.     Maurice  Maeterlinck 
Selected  Poems.    Oscar  Wilde. 
Sevastopol,   and   Other   Storiei.       Lea 

The  Blue  Bird.    Maurice  Maeterlinck. 
Uhdbr  Five  Reigns.    Lady  Dorothy  NevilL 
*Vaiuua  Letters.    Robert  Louis  Stevenson, 
*ViCAR  op  Morwbnstow,  The.    S.  Barinr- 


Books  for  Travellers. 

Crown  ivo.     6x.  taeh. 
Each  Tolnine  contains  a  number  of  lUustiations  in  Colour, 
*A  Wahderee  ih  Florence,    E.  V.  Lucas. 
A  Wanderer  ih  Paris.    E.  V.  Lucas, 
A  Wanderer  ih  Holland.    E.  V.  Lucas, 
A  Wahderee  in  London.    E.  V.  Lucas. 
The  Norpolk  Broass.    W.  A,  Dutt. 
The  New  Forest.    Horace  G.  Hutchinson. 
Naples.    Arthur  H.  Norway. 
The  Cities  op  Uhbria.    Edward  Hutton. 
The  Cities  op  Spain.    Edward  Hutton. 
•The    Cities 

LoMBARDT,        Edward 

Florence  and  Northern  Tuscant,  with 

Genoa.    Edward  Hutton. 
Siena  and  Sootheeh  Tuscany.     Edward 


Rome.    Edward  Hutton. 
Venice  and  Vxnbtia.    Edward  Hutton, 
The  Bretons  at  Home.    F.  M.  Gostlin(. 
The  Land  op  Pardons  (Brittany).    Anatole 

Le  Braz. 
A  Book  op  the  Rhine.      S.  Barinf-Gould. 
The  Naples  Riviera.    H.  M.  Vaughan. 
Bays  in  Cornwall.    C.  Lewis  Hind. 
Through  East  Ahslia  in  a  Motor  Car. 

J.  E.  Vincent, 
The  SRrts  op  the  Great  City.    Mrs.  A. 

G.  Bell. 

Round  about  Wiltshire.     A.  G.  Bradley. 
Scotland  of  To-day.    T.  F.  Henderson  and 

Francis  Watt.     , 
Norway  and  its  Fjords.     M.  A  Wyllie. 

Some  Books  on  Art. 

AstahdLipb.  T.  Sturge  Moore.  Illustrated. 
Cr.  lew.    5<-  "''• 

Aims  and  Ideals  ih  Art.    George  Clausen. 

lUustrated.     Samd  Sditum.     Large  Pott 

U*.    V-  «^- 
Sit  Lectures  ON  Painting.  George  Clausen. 

Illustrated.      Third  Editiim.     Large  Put 

U*.    31.  (>*«'. 
FrAHCESCO     OoAEDI,      I7IR-I793.         O.     A. 

SinoDSoa.        lUnstiated.        Imf trial  tf- 
{,%  u-  net- 

William  Blake. 


»p    the    Book    op 
Quarto.    £x  xi.  net. 

Johh  Lucas,  Portrait  Painter,  i838-i>74. 
Arthur  Lucas.  Illustrated.  Imferitd  4t». 
£i  3'-  net. 

One  Hundred  MASTERriRCxs  op  Painting. 
With  an  Introduction  by  R.  C.  Witt.  Illus- 
trated. SeundMditUH.  Vemjitv.  tot.  id. 

A  Guide  to  the  British  Picturrs  in  the 
National  Gallery.  Edward  Kingstnn. 
lUustrated.    Fca^-  if-    a>-  W.  net. 


Methuen  and  Company  Limited 

Sous  Books  om  iLar— continued, 

Ohb  Huhdkrd  Mastskpiecks  of  Sculptukk. 
With  an  Introduction  by  G.  F.  HilL  Xllus- 
tnited.    Dttny  %v0,     lor.  6<£  net, 

A  RoMNsr  Folio.  With  mn  Essay  by  A.  B. 
Chamberlata.  Imperial  Feiio,  £\^  i^s. 

Thr  Satnts  ih  Art.  Margaret  £.  Tabor. 
Illustrated.    Fcap.  8f#.    3X.  6d.  ntU 

Schools  or  Painting.  Mary  lunes.  Illus- 
trated.    Cr.  %v:     it,  ntt. 

Thb  Post  Ihpkkssionists.    C  Lewis  Hind. 

Illustrated.    Royal  %vo,    71.  hd.  net, 
Cbltic  Art  in  Pagan  and  Christian  Timbs. 

J.  R.  Allen.    Illustrated.    Second  Edition, 

Demy  Zvo.    1*,  6d.  net. 
"Classics  or  Art."    See  page  13. 
*'  The  Connoisseur's  Library."  See  page  14 
*'  Little  Books  on  Art.**    See  page  16. 
"Tub  Little  Gallesus."    See  page  xj. 

Some  Books  on  Italy. 

A  History  or  Milan  under  the  Sporza. 

Cecilia  M.  Ady.     Illustrated.     I>emy  ivo. 

lor.  6d.  net, 
A    History   or   Vfrona.       A.    M.    Allen. 

Illustrated.    Demy  &vo.    las.  6d.  net. 
A  History  or  Perugia.    William  Heywood. 

Illustrated.    Demy  Zvo.     xv.  6d,  net. 
The  Lakes  or  Northern  Italy.     Richard 

Bagot.     Illustrated.     Fca^.  ivo.     5X.  net. 
Woman  in  Italy.    W.  Boulting.    Illustrated. 

Demy  kvo.     lox.  6d.  net. 
Old  Etruria  and  Modern  Tuscany.    Mary 

L.  Cameron.    Illustrated.    Second  Edition. 

Cr.  &V0,    6s.  net. 
Florence  and  the  Cities  of  Northern 

Tuscany,  with  Genoa.    Edward  Huttsu. 

Illustrated.    Second  Edition.    Cr,  Zvo.    ts, 
Siena  and  Southern  Tuscany.      Edward 

Hutton.       lUustmtttd.       Second  Edition. 

Cr.  ive,     6t. 
In  Unknown  Tuscany.      Edward  Hutton. 

Illustrated.     Second  Edition.     Demy  ivo. 

•;e.  6d.  net. 
Venice   and   Venbtia.       Edward   Hutton. 

Illustrated.    Cr.  Zvo,    6s, 
Venice  on  Foot.  H.A.Douglas.  Illustrated. 

Ecap.  &V0.    $s.  net, 
Venice    and    Her    Treasures.        H.    A 

Douglas.     Illustrated.     Eca/.  ivo.     51.  net. 
•The    Doges    or    Venice.      Mrs.    Aubrey 

Richardson.  Illustrated.  Demy  ivo.  zor.  6a. 

Flukencb  :  Her  History  and  Art  to  the  Fall 

of  the  Republic.    F.  A.  Hyett.    Demy  ivo. 

7s.  6d.  net. 
Florence  anh  Her  Treasures.       H.  M. 

Vaughan.     Illustrated.    Eca/.  Zvo.     5^.  net. 
Country  Walks  about  Florence.    Edward 

Huttoo.     Illustrated.     Ecap.  Bvo.     5s.  net. 
Naples;  Past  and  Present.     A.  H.  Norway. 

Illustrated.     Third  Edition,     Cr.  ivo.     6s. 
The  Naples  Riviera.       H.  M.  Vaughan. 

Illustrated.    Second  Edition.    Cr.  ivo.    6t, 
SiriLv:   The  New  Winter  Resort.      Douglas 

Slaaen.     Illustrated.    Sfcond  Sditim,    Cr. 

%Vt,     if-  'V*. 

Sicily.    F.  H.  Jackson.   Illastrated.     Small 

Pott  ivo.    Cloth,  as.  6d.  net  t  leather,  y.6d. 

Rome.    Edward  Hutton.     Illustrated.   Second 

Edition.    Cr.  ivo.    6s. 
A    Roman   Pilgrimage.      R.    E.    Roberts- 
Illustrated.    Detny  ivo.     Jos.  6d.  net. 
Rome.      C.  G-  Ellaby.      Illustrated.      Small 

Pott  ivo.    Cloth,  as.  6d.  net ;  leather,  y,  6d. 

The  Cities  or  Umbria.     Edward  Hutton. 

Illustrated.    Fourth  Edition.    Cr.  ivo,    6s, 
*The  Cities  or  Lombardy.   Edward  Hutton. 

llJustrated.    Cr.  ivo.    6s, 
The     Lives     or     S.    Fkancis    or    Assist. 

Brother  Thomas  of  Celano.     Cr,  ivo,    51. 


Lorenzo   the    MACNiriCENT.        E.    L.    S. 

Horsburgh.     Illustrated.     Second  Edition. 

Demy  ivo,     ty.  net, 
Girolamo  Savonarola,   E.  L.  S.  Horsburgh. 

Illustrated.    Cr.  ivo.    5X.  net. 
St.  Catherine  of  Siena  and  Her  Times. 

By  the  Author  of"  Mdlle  Mori  "   Illustrated. 

Second  Edition.     Demy  ivo.     js.  6d  net, 
Dante  and  his   Italy.        Lonsdale  Ragg. 

Illustrated.     Demy  ivo.     tas.  6d.  net, 
Dante    Alighieri  :    His    Life   and  Works. 

Paget  Toynbee.    Illustrated.    Cr.  ivo.    ss. 

The  Medict  Popes.    H.  M.  Vaughan.    Illus- 
trated.    Demy  8vo,     15X.  net. 
Shelley  and  His  Friends  in  Italy,    Helen 

R.  Angeli.    Illustrated.    Demy  ivo.    xos.6d. 

Home  Lifb  in  Italy.      Llna  Duff  Gordon. 

Illustrated.     Second  Edition.      Demy  ivo, 

lor.  6d.  net. 
Skies  Italian  :  A  Little  Breviary  for  Travellers 

in  Italy.    Ruth  S.  Phelps.    Fcap.  ivo,     ks. 


•A  Wanderer  in  Florence     E.  V.  Lucas. 

Illustrated.     Cr.  ivo.     6x. 
•United  Italy,    F,  M.  Uftdtrwood-    Drmy 

iV9-     ictf.  6d.  tt44> 



Part  III. — A  Selection  of  Works  of  Fiction 

AlbanesI  (E.  Maria).  SUSANNAH  AND 
ONE    OTHER.      Fourth    Kduion.      Cr. 

LOVE    And    LOUISA.      Saond   EdiiicK. 

Cr.  Zvo.     6f. 
THE  BROWN  EYES  OF  UPeCi.     Third 

edition.    Cr.  ivo.    6i. 
I    KNOW    A    MAIDEN.     Third  Edition. 

Cr.  Swtf.     6j. 

Politic  AovENTumtss.  Third  Edition. 
Cr.  Snr."    31.  td. 

THE  GLAD  HEART.  Fifth  Edition. 
Cr.  %vo.    6s, 

•OLIVIA  MARY.    Cr.  8»».    6». 

Bagot  (Richard).  A  ROMAN  MYSTERY. 

Third  Edition.     Cr.  Bm.     61. 
THE   PASSPORT.      Fourth   Edition.      Cr. 

Svo.     6s. 
ANTHONY  CUTHBERT.   Fourth  Edition. 

Cr.  %vo.    6s. 
LOVE'S  PROXY.    Cr.tvo.    «.. 
DONNA    DIANA.      Stcond  Edition.      Cr. 

CASTING    OF    NETS.     Twelfth   Edition. 

Cr.  %vo.     6s. 

Edition.    Cr.  itio.    6s. 

Bailey  (H.C.).  STORM  AND  TREASURE. 

Third  Edition.     Cr.  Szio.     6s. 
THE  LONELY  QUEEN.       Third  Edition. 

Cr.  tvo.    is. 

BaPlng-Gould    (S.).       IN   THE    ROAR 

OF  THE  SEA.    Eifhth  Edition.    Cr.  ivo. 

MARGERY    OF     QUETHER.         Stcond 

Edition.    Cr.  tvo.    St. 
THE  QUEEN  OF  LOVE.    Fifth  Edition. 

Cr.  Svo.-   6s. 
TACQUETTA.   Third  Edifton.  Cr.  tvo.  6s. 
KITTY  ALONE.  Fifth  Edition.  Cr.tvo.  6s. 
NOEMI.     Illnstrated.    Fourth  Edition.    Cr. 

the'  BROOM  -  SQUIRE.  Illustratod. 
Fifth  Edition.     Cr.  8»o.     61. 

DARTMOOR   IDYLLS.    Cr.txo.    61. 

GUAVAS  THE  TINNER.  Illustrated. 
Second  Edition.    Cr.  tvo.    6s. 

trated.   Second  Edition.    Cr.  tvo.     6s. 

PABO  THE  PRIEST.    Cr.  tvo.  ^6s. 

WINEFRfiD.     Illustrated.    Second  Edition. 

ROYAl'gEO'rGIE.   Illustrated.  Pr.tvo.6l. 
CHRIS  OF  ALL  SORTS.    Cr.  tvo.    6s. 
lit  DEWISLAND.     Second  Edition.     Cr. 

FihkEditim.    St. 

Barp  (Robert).  IN  THE  MIDST  OF 
ALARMS.     Third  Edition.     Cr.tvo.    61. 

Edition.     Cr.  tvo.    6s. 

THE  MUTABLE  MANY.  Third  Edition. 
Cr.  tvo.    6s. 

Begble  (Harold).  THE  CURIOUS  AND 
JOHN  SPARROW^  Bakt.  ;  on,  The 
Progress  of  an  Open  Mind.  Second 
Edition.     Cr.  tvo.     6s. 

Belloe  (H.).  EMMANUEL  BURDEN 
MERCHANT.  Illustrated.  Second  Edition. 
Cr.  tvo.     6s. 

Edition.     Cr.  tvo.     6s. 

Belloe-Lowndes  (Mrs.).     THE  CHINK 

IN    THE    ARMOuR.      Fourth  Edition. 
Cr,  tvo.     6s. 
•MARY  PECHELL.     Cr.  8i/».    6s, 

Bennett  (Arnold).     CLAY  HANGER. 

/  enth  Edition,     Cr,  tvo.    6s. 
THE  CARD.     Sixth  Edition,     Cr,tvo,    6s, 
HILDA  LESSWAYS.       Seventh    Edition, 

Cr,  tvo.    6s, 
•BURIED      ALIVE.        A    New   Edition, 

Cr,  tvo,    6s, 
A   MAN   FROM  THE  NORTH.    A  Nevi 

Edition,     Cr,  tvo,    6s, 

Second  Edition,    Cr,  tvo,    6s, 

Benson  (G.  F.).  DODO :  A  Detail  or  thk 
Day.    Sixteenth  Edition,    Cr,  tvo.    6s. 

Birmingham  (George  A.).      SPANISH 

GOLD.     Sixth  Edition,      Cr.  tvo,     6s, 
THE   SEARCH   PARTY.     Fifth  Edition. 

Cr,  tvo.    6s. 
LALAGE'S  LOVERS.     Third  Edition,     Cr. 

tvo.    6s. 

Bowen    (Marjorle).      I  WILL    MAIN. 

TAIN.    Seventh  Edition.     Cr,  tvo,    6s, 

Edition,    Cr.  tvo.    6s. 

•A  KNIGHT  OF  SPAIN.      Cr.  tvo,      6s. 

THE  QUEST  OF  GLORY.  Third  Edi- 
tion.    Cr,  tvo,    6s. 

GOD  AND  THE  KING.  Fourth  Edition, 
Cr,  tvo,    6s. 

Clifford  (Mrs.  W.  K.).  THE  GETTING 
WELL  OF  DOROTHY.  Illustrated. 
Second  Edition.    Cr.  tvo,    3s,  6d, 

Conrad  (Joseph).  THE  SEpRETAGENT  i 
A  Simple  Tale.    Fourth  Ed,    Cr,  S»o.    6s. 

A  SET  OF  SIX.  Fourth  Edition,  Cr.  tvo.  6s. 

UNDER  WESTERN  EYES.  Stcond  £4. 
Cr,  tvo.    6s, 


Methuen  and  Company  Limited 

•Conyers  (Dorothea,).    THE  LONELY 

MAN.    Cr.  »v:    6t. 

Corelll  (Harle).   A  ROMANCE  OF  two 

WORLDS.    Thirty-first  Ed.    Cr.tvt.    6i. 
VENDETTA ;  o»,  Thb  Story  of  ohb  For- 
gotten.    Tvienty-nintk  EdituH.    Cr.  tv0. 

THELMA  :      A     Norwxgiam     Pkikcius. 

Jfffrty-teevnd  EdiiioH. '  Cr.  ivf.    6x. 
ARDATH  :  The  Stokt  or  a  Dead  .  Self. 

Twentieth  Edition.    Cr.  tvo.    6f. 
THE   SOUL   OF    LILITH.      Seventeenth 

Edition.    Cr.  Svo.    6r. 
WORMWOOD  :     A    Drama    op    Paris. 

Eighteenth  Edition.    Cr.  Sm.    6s. 
BARABBAS  :   A  Dream  of  the  World's 

Tkagedt.     Forty-Hxth  Edition.    Cr.  8f». 

THE  SORROWS  OF  SATAN.  Fifty-seventh 

Edition.    Cr.  ivo.    6s. 
THE  MASTER-CHRISTIAN.     Thirteenth 

Edition,    ijath  Thousand.    Cr.  tvo.    6s. 
TEMPORAL    POWER:      A    Study     im 

SuKkemact.       Second     Edition.        150th 

Thousand.    Cr.  &vo.    6s. 
GOD'S    GOOD   MAN  ;     A  SiMrLX  Love 

Stort.     Fifteenth  Edition.      1S4M  Thou- 
sand.   Cr.  wo.    6s, 
HOLY^  ORDERS:    the   Tragedy    of  a 

Quiet    Life.       Second    Edition.       xaoth 

Thousand.     Crown  Svo.     6s. 
THE     MIGHTY    ATOM.       Twenty-ninth 

Edition.    Cr.  tvo.    6s. 
BOY :  a  Sketdk.    Twelfth  Edition.    Cr.  tvo. 
•  6s. 

CAMEOS.   Fourteenth  Edition.  Cr.  ivo.   61. 

Cr.  ivo.    6s. 

Crockett  (S.  R.).,  LOCHINVAR.  Illus- 
trated.    Third  Edition.    Cr.  Svo.    6s. 

Edition.    Cr.  Svt.    tt. 

Croker  (B.  M.).      THE  OLD  CANTON- 

MENT.    Second  Edition.    Cr.  tvo.    6s. 
JOHANNA.    Second  Edition.    Cr.  tvo.    6s. 
THE  HAPPY  VALLEY.    Fourth  Edition. 
■  Cr.  81W.    6s. 
A     NINE     DAYS'     WONDER.      Fourth 

Edition.  '  Cr.  tvo.    6s. 
PEGGY  OF   THE    BARTONS.     Seventh 

Edition.    Cr.  tvo.    6s. 
ANGEL.    Fifth  Edition.    Cr.  Iv«.    6s. 

Edition.    Cr.  tvo.    6x. 
BABES  IN  THE  WOOD.    Fourth  Edition. 
Cr.  li/«.    6s. 

Danby  (Frank.).  JOSEPH  IN  JEO- 
PARDY.    Third  Edition.    Cr.  Iw.    «/. 

Doyle  (Sir  A.  Conan).  ROUND  THE  RED 
LAMP.     Twelfth  Edition.    Cr.  tv:    6s. 

rann  (0.  Uaiwllle).  SYD  BELTON: 
The  Boy  who  would  mot  go  to  Sea. 
lUiutialed.    Second  Ed.    Cr.  im.    j>.  id. 

PlndIater(J.H.).  THE  GREEN  GRAVES 
OF  BALGOWRIE.  Fi/th  Edition.  Cr. 
tvo.    6s. 

Edition.    Cr.  tvof  is. 

FIndlater  (Mary).    A  NARROW  WAY. 

Third  Edition.    Cr.  tvo.    6s. 
OVER  THE  HILLS.    Second  Edition.    Cr. 

tvo.    6s. 
THE    ROSE    OF    JOY.      Third    Edition. 

Cr.  8M.     6s. 
A    BLIND    BIRD'S    NEST.      Illustrated. 

Second  Edition.    Cr.  tvo.    6s. 

Fry  (B.  and  C.  B.).  A  MOTHER'S  SON. 
Fifth  Edition.    Cr.  tvo.    6s. 

Harraden  (Beatrice).  IN  VARYING 
MOODS.  Fourteenth  Edition.  Cr.  tvo.  6s. 

TANCE MAN.    Twelfth  Ed.    Cr.tvo.  6s. 

INTERPLAY.    Fifth  Edition.    Cr.  tvo.    6s. 

HIehens  (Robert).  THE  PROPHET  OF 
BERKELEY  SQUARE.  Second  Edition. 
Cr.  8v>.    6s. 

Edition.    Cr.  tvo.    6s. 

Edition.     Cr.  tvo.     6s. 

BYEWAYS.    Cr.tvo.    6s. 

first  Edition.    Cr.tvo.    6s. 

THE  BLACK  SPANIEL.    Cr.  tvo.    6s. 

THE  CALL  OF  THE  BLOOD.  Seventh 
Edition.    Cr.  tvo.    6s. 

BARBARY  SHEEP.  Second  Edition.  Cr. 
tvo.    %s.  6d. 

HOLD.   Cr.tvo.    U. 

Hope  (Anthony).     THE  GOD   IN   THE 

CAR.    Eleventh  Edition.    Cr.  tvo.    (u 
A  CHANGE  OF  AIR.    Sixth  Edition,    cr. 

tvo.    6s. 
A  MAN  OF  MARK.  Seventh  Ed.  Cr.  tvo.  6s. 

TONIO.    Sixth  Edition.    Cr.tvo.    6s. 
PHROSO.      lUustrated.      Eighth  Edition. 

Cr.  8cw.    6s. 
SIMON  DALE.  lUnstrated.  Eighth  Edition. 

Cr.  8»«.    6s. 
THE  KING'S  MIRROR.    Ft/th  Edition. 

Cr.  8p«.    6t. 

?UISANT£    Fourth  Edition.    Cr.  tvo.   6s. 
HE  DOLLY  DIALOGUES.    Cr.  Sw.    61. 
TALES  OF  TWO  PEOPLE.    Third  Edi- 
tion.   Cr.  tvo.    6s. 
THE  GREAT   MISS   DRIVER.      Fourth 

Edition.    Cr.  iiw.    6s. 
MRS.  MAXON  PROTESTS.     Third  Edi- 
tion,   Cr.  >(/«.    6s. 

Hutten  (Baronesi  von).   THE  HALO. 

Fifth  Edition.    Cr.  iw.    6t. 


'  '5,'}?^5)!r'?!?„'  (Author  of  the).  THE 
WILD  OLIVE.  Third  Editicn.  Cr.  iv: 

Jacobs    (W.    W.).       MANY    CARGOES. 

TImrty-tecend  EdititH.     Cr,  Bv«.     31.  td. 

*AIso   Illustrated   in   colour.     Dmy   8<w 

71.  6rf.  net. 
SEA  URCHINS.     Sixittnth  Editun.     Cr. 

8i>«.    3T.  6d. 
A    MASTER    OF    CRAFT.       lUustrated. 

Ninth  EdiiioM.    Cr.  Zvo.    u.  6d 
LIGHT  FREIGHTS.     IIBistrated.    Eirhth 

Edition.    Cr.  8»».    31. 6d. 
THE    SKIPPER'S   WOOING.      Elmnth 

Edition.     Cr.  Zvo.    v,  6d. 
AT  SUNWICH  PORT.    lUustrated.    Tmth 

Edition.     Cr.  Svo.     31. 6d. 
DIAI^TONE  LANE.    Illustrated.     Eighth 

Edition.    Cr.  ivo,    jt.  id. 
ODD  CRAFT.     lUustrated.     Fi/th  Edition. 

Cr.  ivo.      v.6d. 
THE  LADY  OF  THE  BARGE.    Illustrated. 

Ninth  Edition.    Cr.  ivo.    sr;  td. 
SALTHAVEN.    lUustratedj    Third  Edition. 

Cr.  ivo.    3*.  6d. 
SAILORS'.   KNOTS.      Illustrated.      Fi/th 

Edition.    Cr.   ivo.    3J.  id. 
SHORT   CRUISES.     Third  Edition.     Cr. 

ivo.    3t.  6d. 

James  (Henry).  THE  GOLDEN  BOWL. 
Third  Edition.    Cr.  ivo.    6f 

LeQueux  (William).  THE  HUNCHBACK 

OF  WESTMINSTER.      Third  Edition. 
'  Cr.  ivo.    6s. 
THE   CLOSED    BOOK.     Third  Edition. 

Cr.  ivo.    6r. 
THE    VALLEY,    OF     THE     SHADOW. 

Illustrated.     Third  Edition.    Cr.  ivo.    fir. 
BEHIND  THE  THRONE.   Third  Edition. 

Cr.  ivo.    fir. 

London  (Jack).  WHITE  FANG.  Xi^hth 
Edition.    Cr.  8w.    fit. 

Lucas  (E.  v.).    LISTENER'S  LURE  :  An 

Obliqub   «arbation.      Eighth   Edition. 

Fcap.  ivo.    jr. 
OVER    BEMERTON'S :    Ah   East-goihg 

Chkonicle.  Ninth  Edition:  Feaf  ivo.  51. 
MR.  INGLESIDE.    Eighth  Edition.   Fcaf. 

ivo.  v. 
LONDON  LAVENDER.    Cr.ivo.    fir. 

Lyall  (Edna).  DERRICK  VAUGHAN, 
NOVELIST.  44<A  Thomand.  Cr.  8»». 
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Anstey  (F.).    A  BAYARD  OF  BENGAL. 

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Bagot  (Riehapd).  A  ROMAN  MYSTERY. 

Balfour   (Andpew).     BY    STROKE    OF 

BarinK-Gould  (S.).    FURZS  BLOOM. 







A  BOOK  OF  FAIRY  TALES.    Illustrated.